Casper Ruud wins safely in Barcelona

BARCELONA-. Casper Ruud defeated Jordan Thompson in consecutive sets to reach 26 victories on the season and secure their place in the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

The third seed won 6-1, 6-4 to take one more win on the year than Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner.

Ruud, sixth in the standings, is trying to reach his sixth final of the year after losing in Los Cabos, Acapulco and Monte Carlo.

His next opponent is Italian Matteo Arnaldi, 40th in the rankings, who beat Marco Trungelliti 6-3, 6-0 in the clay tournament.

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek who beat Ruud on Sunday to win Monte Carlo, confirmed his place in the best eight by beating Roberto Carballes Baena 7-5, 6-2.

“Don't face any easy shots,” Tsitsipas said. “I'm happy he responded and had good tennis.”

Tsitsipas will now face Argentine Facundo Díaz Acosta, who came from behind to beat Fabian Marozsan 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

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

Alex de Minaur was eliminated by French teenager Arthur Fils, a day after he knocked out fan favorite Rafael Nadal.

Minaur followed his second victory against Nadal with a 7-5, 6-2 defeat against Fils, 19 years old and 36th in the world.

Minaur (4), gave Nadal few opportunities, but never had control against Fils.

Also in the quarterfinals is Britain's Cameron Norrie, who beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-3 to reach 200 career wins. Bautista Agut reached 400 wins on the Tour a day earlier.

Dušan Lajovi left Alejandro Davidovich Fokina behind 7-6 (10), 3-6, 6-1.