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SPORTS

Tsitsipas Defeated Baena, Ruud Beats Thompson to Reach Barcelona Open Quarterfinals

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Casper Ruud defeated Jordan Thompson in straight sets to earn his season-leading 26th win and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday.

The third-seeded Norwegian won 6-1, 6-4 to move one victory ahead of Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner in 2024.

Ruud, ranked No. 6, is trying to reach his fourth final this year, having lost in Los Cabos, Acapulco and Monte Carlo.

He will next face 40th-ranked Italian Matteo Arnaldi, who defeated Marco Trungelliti 6-3, 6-0 at the clay-court tournament.

Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, the seventh-ranked Greek who beat Ruud on Sunday to win the Monte Carlo title, reached the last eight with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Roberto Carballes Baena.

“There were no easy points coming my way,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m happy that I delivered and came up with some great tennis.”

Tsitsipas will next face Facundo Diaz Acosta, who rallied to beat Fabian Marozsan 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Tsitsipas and Ruud could meet in the final again if they win their next two matches. Tsitsipas lost last year’s final in Barcelona to Carlos Alcaraz.

Alex de Minaur was eliminated by French teenager Arthur Fils a day after defeating home-crowd favorite Rafael Nadal in the second round.

Minaur followed up his second career win over Nadal with a 7-5, 6-2 loss to the 19-year-old Fils, the No. 36 in the world.

The fourth-seeded Minaur, No. 11 in the world, gave few chances to Nadal but was never in control against Fils.

Nadal, a 12-time champion in Barcelona, was making his return to the tour after another injury layoff.

Also into the quarterfinals is Cameron Norrie, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3 for his 200th career win. Bautista Agut had earned his 400th tour-level victory a day earlier.

Dusan Lajovic got past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (10), 3-6, 6-1.

Top-seeded Alcaraz withdrew from the tournament before it started because of an injury, while second-seeded Andrey Rublev lost in the second round.

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