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Top Seed Verdasco Rebounds On Grass

's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

Fernando Verdasco© Getty ImagesFernando Verdasco

Top seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain rebounded from an upset loss in his 2009 grass-court opener as he defeated countryman Pablo Andujar 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday at the Ordina Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

World No. 8 Verdasco, who had fallen to German Philipp Petzschner in his first-round match last week in Halle, fired nine aces and broke Andujar once in each set to secure his place in the second round.

The 25-year-old Madrid native is making his first appearance in ‘s-Hertogenbosch since a quarter-final effort on his event debut in 2004 (l. to Robredo). Verdasco reached his first grass-court final last year at Nottingham (l. to Karlovic).

Fifth-seeded Russian Igor Kunitsyn also won his opening match Sunday, making his tournament debut with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Frenchman Arnaud Clement. In doing so, he snapped a six-match losing streak dating back to April at the clay-court tournament in Barcelona.

He will attempt to win back-to-back matches for just the second time this season when he next faces Israeli Dudi Sela, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Belgian Christophe Rochus. Kunitsyn and Sela met earlier this season in the Memphis quarter-finals, a match Sela won in three sets.

In his first tour-level appearance this season, Dutch wild card Raemon Sluiter converted three of his four break point opportunities to get by Spaniard Daniel Gimeno Traver 6-2, 7-5. The 31-year-old Sluiter is making his 11th event appearance, and achieved his best result in 2003 when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Schalken).

Also Sunday, Spaniard Ivan Navarro advanced with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller. He won 86 per cent of his first serve points, hit 15 aces and saved all four break points faced on serve.


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