16 May 2015

Christie into Rio quarter-finals

2:42 pm on 16 May 2015

The Mahia surfer Ricardo Christie has caused a major upset at the latest World Surf League event in Brazil.

Christie, in his first year in the elite competition, has beaten the home favourite and world number one Adriano de Souza.

Ricardo Christie in action in the semi-finals of the ASP Prime SATA Azores Pro

Ricardo Christie in action in the semi-finals of the ASP Prime SATA Azores Pro Photo: Photosport

The New Zealander followed up the round three victory with another win over Matt Banting of Australia in round five to earn himself a place in the quarterfinals for the first time.

"The waves were super fun and I tried to stick to my gameplan and get some scores early," said Christie.

Earlier, the Mahia local defeated the South African and former Rio winner Jordy Smith.

Christie's next opponent is the Brazilian Filipe Toledo, who the New Zealander defeated in the heats at the last tour event in Western Australia's Margaret River.

"It's like a switch has been flipped and I'm able to surf in heats. I'm not going to worry bout Filipe in the quarter finals, I'm just going to do what I'm doing and go for bigger waves and bigger moves," he said.

Others big names to have lost in Rio include the current world champion Gabriel Medina, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and 3-time world champion Mick Fanning.

Oi Rio Men's Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:

QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)

QF 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)

QF 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)

QF 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)

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