MONTERREY/STARNBERG, March 12, 2022
Fernando Verdasco has advanced to his first final on the Pro Circuit since finishing runner-up to Diego Schwartzman at the Rio Open ATP 500 event in February 2018. The 38-year-old Spaniard will play Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India in Saturday’s championship match of the $106,240 Abierto GNP Seguros ATP Challenger hard-court tournament in Monterrey, Mexico.
Top seed Verdasco rallied past Christian Harrison from the Unites States 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Friday’s semi-final. The World No. 150 struck five aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 57 minutes.
“It has been a long time since the last final that I played and the truth is that it is very special. Thanks to the support from the crowd I was able to turn the match around and had extra strength to end up winning the match,” said Verdasco.
Later in the evening, Gunneswaran also overcame a set deficit to outlast Go Soeda of Japan 6-7(7), 7-6(4), 6-4. The No. 7 seed capitalized on two of his seven break-point chances to prevail after two hours and 34 minutes.
Verdasco is bidding for his first title since lifting his seventh ATP Tour career trophy in Bucharest six years ago. The lefty from Madrid could claim his second Challenger career title following his triumph on home soil in Segovia 2007. Gunneswaran is seeking his third Challenger career crown, his first since Bangalore 2018. The pair will meet for the first time.
In the doubles final, top seeds Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico and Austin Krajicek from the United States will take on US-American Robert Galloway and John-Patrick Smith of Australia.
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