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Ferrer Leads Spanish Trio Into Quarters

Bastad, Sweden

Verdasco© SkiStar Swedish OpenFernando Verdasco was runner-up in Bastad last year.

Top seed David Ferrer opened his SkiStar Swedish Open campaign on Thursday as he led a trio of Spaniards into the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-0 second-round victory over Victor Hanescu in Bastad. 

The Spaniard improved to a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Hanescu as he claimed victory in 61 minutes, only dropping four service points in the second set. "It was tough in the first set," said Ferrer. "He had already played a match. It was difficult to return. But in the second set I played more aggressively and hit more winners."

The 32-year-old Ferrer recorded his 33rd win of the season as he advanced to the quarter-finals. The right-hander is bidding to win this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament for the third time, following victories in 2007 and 2012, defeating Nicolas Almagro both times.

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Ferrer goes on to face defending champion Carlos Berlocq, who fought from a set down to beat qualifier Radu Albot 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. The 31-year-old Berlocq is bidding to retain his title and capture his second ATP World Tour trophy of the season, following victory in Oeiras (d. Berdych).

Third seed Fernando Verdasco overcame countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 7-5 in 89 minutes. Verdasco was runner-up in Bastad last year (l. to Berlocq) and is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour title of the year, having triumphed on clay in Houston (d. Almagro).

"This is a special tournament for me," said Verdasco. "I have been here for many years and I always enjoy playing here so much. It's an unbelievable tournament. Everything is so easy for us and every player loves to play here. I hope to win and I hope that [my coach] Thomas [Enqvist] is going to help."

Eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta needed just 72 minutes to beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-2. The Barcelona resident set a first-time meeting with Verdasco as he converted five of his 14 break point opportunities. He is through to his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. 

Looking ahead to the match with Carreno Busta, Verdasco commented, "He's a very young, talented player. I've been watching him, he played great. it's going to be a tough match. I've practised with him a few times. I'll prepare for the battle and hopefully I'll play good and be in the semis."

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Three Of Top Four Seeds Reach Semis
Three of the top four seeds advanced to the semi-finals, led by top seeds David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco, who dismissed Dustin Brown and Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-1. The Spaniards, who won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals last year, are looking to win their first title of the season and go on to face fourth seeds Johan Brunstrom and Nicholas Monroe, who beat Gero Kretschmer and Alexander Satschko 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-3.

Third seeds Tomasz Bednarek and Henri Kontinen defeated Swedish wild cards Isak Arvidsson and Markus Eriksson 6-3, 6-2 to set a semi-final clash with Jeremy Chardy and Oliver Marach, who upset second seeds Andre Begemann and Robert Lindstedt 7-6(1), 6-2. 

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