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Early exit for injured Verdasco

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:41

Verdasco, the world number nine, pulled a calf muscle in the first game of his match against Juan Monaco and although he attempted to soldier on, the Spaniard was 1-6 1-3 down when he called it a day after 55 minutes.

“I had real pain when serving, especially since the injury was in my my right leg,” said Verdasco. “It was not easy for me – I tried to continue playing but when I saw that I had no chance to win I retired before injuring myself further.”

Monaco will now face Robredo, who claimed the title in Bastad last year and in 2006.

The third seed needed 77 minutes to see off Georgia’s Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-4 6-0 and is on course for a third claycourt title of 2009.

In the other half of the draw, French Open finalist Robin Soderling thrilled his home crowd by edging a tight match against another Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro.

The world number 12 was given a tough workout but crucially claimed three breaks to one to win 7-5 6-3.

It was later confirmed that a Swede would compete in the final when wildcard entrant Andreas Vinciguerra, ranked 460 in the world, stunned fourth seed Jurgen Melzer 2-6 6-4 6-3 to set up a clash with Soderling.

Vinciguerra, whose ranking peaked at 33 in 2001, has twice reached the final at Bastad but the last occasion was in 2000.

His only ATP Tour tournament victory came on the hard courts of Copenhagen in the same year.

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