Verdasco, Schwartzman into Rio final

Fernando Verdasco continued his strong form at the Rio Open on Saturday, beating Italy’s Fabio Fognini in straight sets to set up a final match with home favourite Diego Schwartzman.

The Spanish veteran carried on where he left off against second seed Dominic Thiem in Friday’s quarter-final, dominating Fognini from the off as he raced away with the first set 6-1.

The Italian put up more resistance in the second set, and the eighth seeded Spaniard had to fend off three break points in game five before eventually holding.

After that close call, things went with serve for the rest of the set until game 12 when Verdasco turned up the heat to break for the first time to take the game, set and match.

The 34-year old, looking for his eighth ATP singles title will now face Schwartzman in Sunday’s final.

Schwartzman advanced to the decider earlier in the day after beating Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-5, 6-2.

The sixth-seeded Argentine, currently ranked 23rd in the world, will move into the top 20 for the first time in his career following the final.

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