Verdasco, Schwartzman advance to Rio Open final

Spain's Fernando Verdasco returns the ball to Italy's Fabio Fognini during a semifinal of the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman advanced Saturday to the Rio Open final.

The eighth-seed Verdasco beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5, and the sixth-seeded Schwartzman topped Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-5, 6-2 in the clay-court event at Jockey Club Brasileiro.

Schwartzman will enter to the Top 20 for the first time. He also beat France’s Gael Monfils, Argentina’s Federico Delbonis and Norway’s Casper Ruud on his way to the final.

Verdasco also topped defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria and Argentinians Nicolas Kicker and Leonardo Mayer.

Schwartzman and Verdasco have met once, with the Argentinian winning 7-6 (5), 6-1 in Nice, France, in 2016.