Verdasco Sets Third Round Clash With Anderson In Nottingham

Fernando Verdasco (photo: Brigitte Urban)

NOTTINGHAM, June 21, 2016

All 16 seeds were in second round action on Tuesday at the €704,805 Aegon Open in Nottingham with the tournament’s number one Kevin Anderson making a winning start into the ATP 250 event. The world number 24 beat Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Anderson fired 21 aces and secured victory without facing a break point after one hour and six minutes.

The 24-year-old from South Africa will take on Fernando Verdasco next. The 14th seed from Spain fought past Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Verdasco smashed six aces and won 73% of his first service points to close the encounter after one hour and 26 minutes.

Dudi Sela knocked out third favourite Joao Sousa 6-3, 7-6. The world number 71 from Israel converted two of his eight break point opportunities to set a third round meeting with German veteran Benjamin Becker.

Eighth seed Gilles Muller hit 66 winners in the all-leftie-affair with Jiri Vesely to secure a 7-6, 6-2 victory in only 58 minutes.

“Grass is one of my favourite surfaces, so I really enjoy these weeks during the year. I could spend more time on the grass, as the serve and volley game works out here,” Muller said after the match. The veteran finished runner-up to Nicolas Mahut in s’Hertogenbosch two weeks ago but slowed down the expectations.

“I just want to focus step by step. The next match will be a tough again.” The 33-year-old from Luxembourg will next take on Mikhail Youzhny, who edged past the tournament’s number 10 Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-1, 6-4.

Sam Querrey emerged victorious from the all-US-American-encounter with qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, who gained his first tour-level win on Monday. Querrey fired 15 aces, winning 94% of his first service points and saved all of the three break points he faced. The fifth seed from Santa Monica broke his opponent’s serve twice to advance in 58 minutes.

Querrey will next play the tournament’s number nine Marcos Baghdatis. The 31-year-old from Cypris beat Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-2. Baghdatis won 81% of his first as well as his second service to prevail in one hour and 11 minutes.

Only one British player is left in the draw, as Kyle Edmund fell to fourth seed Aleksandr Dolgopolov. The world number 32 from the Ukraine beat the local in Wimbledon last year and repeated his success in Nottingham, winning 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 15 minutes. Dolgopolov will square off with Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic next.

Daniel Evans is the last Brit standing. The 26-year-old from Birmingham rallied back from a set down to overcome 16th seed Ricardas Berankis, who celebrated his 26th birthday, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2. Evans sent down eight aces and won 52% of the total points played to seal victory in two hours and four minutes to meet second seed Pablo Cuevas, who opened his Aegon Open campaign with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over French qualifier Stephane Robert.

In the only remaining first round encounter, Damir Dzumhur knocked out Nottingham’s defending champion Denis Istomin, winning 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. The match was suspended due to darkness and resumed with the start of the third set.

“I tried to change my game after the first and managed to hold my serve until the tie-break. Today I played well and one break made the difference,” Dzumhur told afterwards. The 24-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, lost his second round match in the afternoon to 14th seed Vasek Pospisil in only 52 minutes 6-1, 6-4. Pospisil will face sixth favourite Steve Johnson. The US-American downed John Millman 6-2, 6-2.