Former Finalist Verdasco Advances In Bastad
Both men entered the first-round contest with as many wins as losses at tour-level in 2018, but it was two-time finalist Verdasco who improved to 18-17 for the year after two hours and three minutes. The fifth seed won 85 per cent of first-serve points and converted three of seven break point chances to hand Sonego a fifth defeat in nine tour-level clashes this year.
The seventh seed, who has lifted the trophy in Bastad on three occasions, saved six of seven break points to advance after one hour and 31 minutes. Ferrer eased to a one-set lead, but was made to work hard in the second set by Kolar, who qualified for his first tour-level event without dropping a set.
No. 8 seed John Millman needed just 51 minutes to join Verdasco and Ferrer in the second round, cruising past Guido Andreozzi 6-0, 6-2. Millman won 28 of 33 service points and converted five of six break opportunities to progress.
Swedish wild card Mikael Ymer saved all five break points he faced in an 80-minute 6-3, 6-3 triumph over 2015 quarter-finalist Denis Istomin. But brother Elias Ymer could not join him in the second round, as Brazilian Thiago Monteiro scored a 6-4, 6-2 win over the 22-year-old after 73 minutes.
"I played very solid," said Mikael Ymer. "Thinking about the circumstances, playing at home and really wanting the win, I played pretty well. It is never easy. You want to win more than anything... For a first round, it is a very positive win."
Did You Know?
In the past 16 editions of the SkiStar Swedish Open, the title has been captured by a Spaniard on nine occasions. Defending champion David Ferrer (3) and Tommy Robredo (2) have won multiple titles, while Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro and Albert Ramos-Vinolas have also lifted the trophy in recent years.