ATP Tour

Chile's Garin, Italy's Mager advance to ATP Rio final

Cristian Garin (AFP)
Cristian Garin (AFP)

Rio de Janeiro - Chilean third seed Cristian Garin stretched his win streak to nine matches on Sunday by beating Croatian fifth seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-5 to reach the Rio Open final.

Garin, coming off a title two weeks ago at Cordoba, will play for the Rio crown later on Sunday against Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager, who ousted Hungarian lucky loser Attila Balazs 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/2).

Giant-killer Mager upset Australian Open runner-up and 2017 Rio champion Dominic Thiem, the world No 4 from Austria, in the quarter-finals.

The quarter-finals in the rain-hit Brazilian clay court event were delayed to Saturday and the finish of the semi-finals postponed to Sunday, ahead of an evening championship match.

Mager led Balazs 7-6 (7/4), 3-3 when rain halted their semi while Garin was atop Coric 6-4, 4-4.

Coric was eliminated quickly once play resumed, netting a backhand on match point to fall after one hour 44 minutes.

Garin, ranked a career-best 25th but set to crack the top 20 on Monday, captured his third career title earlier this month in Argentina.

The 23-year-old South American lifted trophies last year at Munich and Houston.

Mager, a 128th-ranked qualifier playing in only his ninth career tour-level match, won a rematch against 106th-ranked Balazs, whom he also beat in 6-0, 6-2 in the final round of qualifying.

Balazs, 31, reached his only ATP final last July on Umag clay, losing to Serbian Dusan Lajovic. He pushed the Italian to a third-set tie-break but fell behind 5-0 and lost after two hours 52 minutes on the court.

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