Mixed fortunes duo for in Valencia
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:54
Verdasco is currently occupying the last of the eight qualifying places for the prestigious end-of-season tournament in London later this month, which features the top players from 2009. And the Spaniard had an easy time of things in his first-round match against Oscar Hernandez, losing only two games before his opponent retired with Verdasco leading 6-1 0-1.
It was a different story for Frenchman Tsonga, though, who faces a race to be fit for next week’s Paris Masters, the final points-scoring event, after retiring in the third set of his match against Mikhail Youzhny with a left wrist injury.
Things began well enough for the third seed when he took the first set on a tie-break but he did not win another game and called it a day with Youzhny leading 6-7 (3/7) 6-0 3-0.
Gilles Simon, who is an outside bet to appear at the O2, kept his faint hopes alive with a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Tomas Berdych to become the first man to reach the quarter-finals.
Sixth seed Gael Monfils was a second-round casualty, though, the Frenchman going down 6-2 7-5 to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
In other first-round matches, Janko Tipsarevic beat Victor Hanescu 6-4 6-3 while Feliciano Lopez saw off qualifier Alberto Martin 7-5 6-3 in an all-Spanish encounter.