AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2014
Ferrer, Berdych, Gasquet Win First-Round Melbourne Matches
by ATP Staff|
No. 3 seed David Ferrer opened his campaign at the 2014 Australian Open by battling past Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday.
A two-time semi-finalist (2011, ’13), Ferrer hit 33 winners and committed 30 unforced errors during the match that lasted two hours and five minutes.
"It's important to win the matches in three sets," said Ferrer, "because my game is about fitness and I need power for my next match." The Spaniard, who is No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, next faces Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who overcame Steve Johnson 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
A record-setting 47,491 spectators came out for the first Monday day session of the tournament, which runs 13-26 January. The previous record of 45,361 in attendance was set during the first Monday of the 2012 Australian Open.
Seventh seed Tomas Berdych defeated Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the second round. "I was able to keep with my [game] plan, which was really to be focused on my game and play consistent from the beginning," said Berdych. "That's what I did through all the match. I didn't have any ups and downs. That was a quite solid win."
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Ninth seed Richard Gasquet battled past fellow Frenchman David Guez 7-5, 6-4, 6-1, marking the 27 year old's 350th victory on the ATP World Tour.
Australian Matthew Ebden avoided losing a two-set lead for the third year in a row at the Australian Open, clawing back against Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 0-6, 6-3.
"I had a couple of tough five-set losses here in the past couple of years," said Ebden. "But last year I had a tough five-set doubles in Davis Cup with Lleyton [Hewitt] that we won. I learned a few little things from him, just how we turned that and won that fifth set. I was able to be a bit more experienced today, I guess, and really use the crowd to my advantage to pull out the win."
South African Kevin Anderson outlasted Jiri Vesely 2-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 49 minutes. "I'm really happy," said Anderson. "This is the first time I've done that in my career - come back from two sets down. I'm very excited to get through."