Verdasco’s defeat confirms London line-up
Originally published on: 11/11/10 14:31
Gael Monfils ended Fernando Verdasco’s dream of a return to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after winning an enthralling battle in the last 16 of the BNP Paribas Masters.
Verdasco’s exit, twinned with Andy Roddick’s victory over Ernests Gulbis earlier in the day, means that Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Roddick complete the eight-man field heading to the O2 on November 21-28.
With Roddick’s victory piling the pressure on Verdasco, who needed to reach the Paris final to have any chance of qualifying, and an in-form Monfils, Verdasco had his work cut out. Almost immediately, the pressure rose as he went a break down.
Undeterred, the Spaniard showed tremendous grit to break back and then secure the set in the tiebreak.
The second set began in the same vein as this first with Monfils snatching an early break before Verdasco once again hit back to force a second tiebreak.
This time, however, Monfils coming out on top to level the match.
Into the decider, the match reached new heights of tension as the pair went toe-to-toe in a bid to secure a quarter-final berth. With the set ticking towards a third succesive tiebreak, the pressure told on Verdasco, who squandered two match points at 5-4 on the Monfils serve.
After rescuing the match and with the vociferous home crowd behind the Frenchman, Monfils broke Verdasco and then served out the breathtaking contest that lasted 2 hours 45 minutes.
“Tenniswise it wasn’t perfect, but I found the mental energy to stay into that match,” said Monfils, who will face either Marin Cilic or Andy Murray in the last eight.
“I started believing that I could do something and win after a couple of rallies, and I was back again.”
Elsewhere, Jurgen Melzer got over the disappointment of mising out on a spot in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals by defeating David Ferrer, who will be heading to London, with a thrilling 7-6(6) 2-6 6-3 victory.
Luckily for Ferrer, other results went his way and will now compete in his second year ending championships since 2007, joining first time qualfier Berdych and Roddick, who has qualified for an eighth straight season.