MONTERREY/STARNBERG, March 11, 2022
World No. 150 Fernando Verdasco has reached the stage of the final four for the first time this season. The top seed of the $106,240 Abierto GNP Seguros ATP Challenger hard-court tournament in Monterrey, Mexico defeated Michael Mmoh 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinal encounter.
Verdasco started the match on the right foot by breaking the US-American on his first serve, then holding to go up 2-0. Mmoh reacted and got close by holding his serve at 3-2.
In the sixth game, Mmho had a chance to even the score by having three break points, but he missed them and the 38-year-old Spaniard kept the advantage. In the ninth game, Verdasco gained one more break to win the opening set.
In the second set, Mmoh tried to put more pressure on Verdasco by breaking him on his second opportunity, however in the next game, the lefty from Madrid recovered and won five games in a row to secure victory in one hour and 24 minutes.
Verdasco, who is bidding for his his first title since lifting his seventh ATP Tour career trophy in Bucharest six years ago, will next take on Christian Harrison from the United States. The World No. 357 knocked out No. 8 seed Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes.
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In the bottom half of the draw, Prajnesh Gunneswaran from India overcame a one-set deficit to beat third favourite Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. The No. 7 seed won four points less than his opponent but prevailed after one hour and 50 minutes.
Up next for Gunneswaran will be Go Soeda of Japan, who battled past Ulises Blanch from the United States 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the longest match of the day. The encounter lasted two hours and 28 minutes.