Ferrer into quarterfinals and matchup with rising star Thiem

David Ferrer of Spain returns the ball to Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, at the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Defending champion David Ferrer of Spain advanced to the quarterfinals of the Rio Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Spanish countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Ferrer faces young Austrian Dominic Thiem in the last eight, a matchup of one of the most consistent players on clay against a 22-year-old viewed as a star of the next generation.

Thiem defeated the King of Clay – Rafael Nadal – last week in the semifinals in Buenos Aires en route to winning there. Ferrer has won 26 ATP singles titles – five last season.

Nadal is seeded No. 1 in Rio and played late against another Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

On the women's side of the ATP-WTA event on Thursday, No. 2 seed Johanna Larsson was upset 6-4, 6-4 by Brazilian qualifier Paula Goncalves.