MONTERREY/STARNBERG, March 10, 2022
Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco has reached the quarterfinals of the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico. The top seed of the $106,240 ATP Challenger hard-court tournament defeated US-American qualifier Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-4, 6-2.
Verdasco, who is bidding for his his first title since lifting his seventh ATP Tour career trophy in Bucharest six years ago, didn’t face a break point and converted three of his own seven break-point chances. Kovacevic had a good start into the match, holding his serve, but in the third game the 38-year-old lefty from Madrid gained the break that in the end would give him the first set.
Verdasco was much more accurate in the second set and quickly went up 3-1 without getting a response from his rival. He broke again in the eighth game to record his second win of the week after one hour and seven minutes. Verdasco will next play Michael Mmoh from the United States, who rallied past Australia’s Rinky Hijikata 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 after two hours and 19 minutes.
Robredo, Clarke fall
In other action, Geoffrey Blancaneaux eliminated former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo from Spain 6-3, 6-1. The No. 8 seed from France struck seven aces and won 89 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in 67 minutes. Up next for Blancaneaux will be US-American Christian Harrison, who beat Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-2, 7-5. The encounter lasted one hour and 16 minutes.
Ulises Blanch caused the upset of the day by knocking out second-seeded Briton Jay Clarke 7-6(4), 6-2. The World No. 380 from the United States capitalized on three of his five break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 26 minutes. Blanch, a winner of two ATP Challenger titles, will oppose Go Soeda in the stage of the final eight. The 37-year-old Japanese battled past No. 5 seed Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes.
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