Israeli tennis star Julia Glushko in action.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Julia Glushko advanced to the quarterfinals of a WTA Tour event for the first time in her career on Wednesday, beating American Grace Min 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the Rio de Janeiro Open.
Glushko, ranked No. 149 in the world, reached the third round at the US Open in 2013 and Roland Garros in 2014, but had never previously won two consecutive main draw matches at a WTA tournament.
She needed just 73 minutes to overcome Min (104) on Wednesday and set up a meeting with Irina-Camelia Begu (34) of Romania in the last eight. Glushko beat Begu’s countrywoman Andreea Mitu (117) in the first round of the clay court tournament.
Dudi Sela (90) was knocked out in the first round of the ATP tournament in Delray Beach, Florida on Tuesday, losing 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to 17-year-old rising star Andrey Rublev (370).
In the men’s event in Rio, Rafael Nadal started his clay-court season with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Thomaz Bellucci on Tuesday.
The world number three earned his first break at 2-2 but Bellucci leveled the match at 4-4 before Nadal broke again to claim the first set.
A run of six straight games left Nadal 4-0 up in the second set before the Brazilian was able to hold his serve.
Belucci saved two match points but surrendered victory to Nadal in 91 minutes.
The Spaniard benefited from his opponent’s 31 unforced errors and struck 13 winners. He will next face countryman Pablo Carreno Busta (55).
“The important thing is play a tough match like this in the first round and win,” Nadal said.
“And always beating someone in their home country, where he has a lot of support, is tough. I always have a good feeling playing on clay and I’m into the second round. That’s what matters.”
Earlier in the day, David Ferrer won a Spanish showcase, beating qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-2.
The world number nine extended his head-to-head record over the world number 99 to 3-0 after the 89-minute victory.Reuters contributed to this report