BARCELONA OPEN BANC SABADELL 2012
Murray Records 20th Match Win Of Season; Almagro, Verdasco Advance
by ATP Staff|
Andy Murray became the eighth player this year to register 20 match wins on Tuesday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The second-seeded Scot, who trained in Barcelona as a teenager, improved to a 20-5 season record with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine for a place in the third round.
"I thought I was hitting the ball well and I played better as the match went on," said Murray, who reached the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals last week (l. to Berdych).
Sixth seed Nicolas Almagro, who is making his ninth appearance at the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament (17-8 record), beat Eduoard Roger-Vasselin of France 7-5, 7-6(3) in one hour and 48 minutes. The Spaniard has already picked up one ATP World Tour title on red dirt this year at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo (d. Volandri). He is 16-3 on clay in 2012.
Ninth seed Fernando Verdasco, who defeated Robin Soderling for the 2010 title, experienced few problems in beating Belgian Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-1. Verdasco, one of two champions in the main draw along with six-time titlist Rafael Nadal, notched his 12th match win in Barcelona in 73 minutes. The World No. 20 dropped 12 points on his serve against Dodig, who saved six of 10 break points.
In first-round action, Portugal's Frederico Gil knocked out local resident and 12th seed Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-2 in 73 minutes. Granollers is now 2-7 lifetime at the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament. South African Kevin Anderson, the No. 13 seed, saved all six break points he faced to beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, 6-2, 6-3 in 73 minutes.
Australian No. 15 seed Bernard Tomic, the youngest player in the Top 50 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings, won 73 per cent of his service points to overcome Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-3, 6-4 in 68 minutes.
"I think I played well on my service games," 19-year-old Tomic told ATPWorldTour.com. "I am starting to move better on the clay and it is the best I've played so far. Hopefully in the next round [against Albert Montanes], I'll be ready to run and be physical with him. I think I'll need to play a little more aggressively and be patient at times."
Six-time champion Rafael Nadal will his Barcelona campaign against fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez after the former World No. 23 defeated Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-3. Nadal leads Garcia-Lopez 3-1 in the FedEx ATP Head 2 Head, with his sole loss coming on hard courts two years ago in the Bangkok semi-finals.