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Former Champion Verdasco Overcomes Gulbis; Dolgopolov Reaches QFs

Umag, Croatia

Verdasco© ATP Vegeta Croatia Open UmagFernando Verdasco will play Andrey Kuznetsov in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Top seed Fernando Verdasco, the 2008 champion, battled past Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals at the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag.

The 28-year-old Spaniard improved to 18-8 on clay this season, which includes one runner-up finish at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco (l. to Ferrer), following victory in two hours and six minutes.

Gulbis, who has not won back-to-back ATP World Tour matches since February, hit nine double faults and saved 13 of 18 break point opportunities.

Verdasco goes onto face Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who dismissed fellow wild card Mate Pavic of Croatia 7-6(0), 6-1 in 88 minutes. World No. 137 Kuznetsov had not won a tour-level match all season coming into Umag.

Third seed and defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov made smooth progress as he defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-4. The Ukrainian broke serve three times and won 80 per cent of points behind his first serve to triumph in 76 minutes.

The 23-year-old Dolgopolov defeated Marin Cilic in the 2011 final on his second visit to this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament. He improved to a 17-14 match record on the season, highlighted by finishing runner-up at the Brisbane International (l. to Murray) and reaching the quarter-finals at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to del Potro).

Fifth seed Carlos Berlocq battled past Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-1 in a match featuring 14 breaks of serve. The 29-year-old Berlocq is through to the quarter-finals in Umag for the third time and improved to a 21-17 match record on the season, highlighted by reaching the final of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (l. to Monaco).

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Vegeta Croatia Open Umag, Umag

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© Neven Gerencir

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