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Norrie advances, Alcaraz leads at rain-suspended Rio Open

ATP 500 Rio de Janeiro 2023

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 21: Cameron Norrie of Great Britain plays a forehand against Juan Manuel Cerundolo of Argentina during day two of ATP 500 Rio Open presented by Claro at Jockey Club Brasileiro on February 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie carried over their momentum from last week’s tournament to the Rio Open.

Finalists two days earlier in Buenos Aires, Norrie advanced to round of 16 in the clay court event, while Alcaraz was a game away from moving on before rain suspended play for the day.

Alcaraz, who beat Norrie to win the Argentina Open, defeated Mateus Alves 6-4 in the first set and led 5-3 in the second when play was halted.

The second-ranked Alcaraz, the defending champion, struggled with his powerful forehand against Alves, ranked 556. The match lasted about an hour and 50 minutes before it was suspended. The match is scheduled to resume, and the winner will face either Fabio Fognini or Marcelo Barrios Vera in the next round.

Second-seeded and 13th-ranked Norrie beat Juan Manuel Cerundolo 7-5, 6-1. Norrie trailed 5-3 in the first set before rallying past Cerundolo, who is ranked 107.

The 27-year-old Norrie will face home crowd favorite Thiago Monteiro, who eliminated 2020 U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem.