Former Finalist Verdasco Advances In Bastad
Fernando Verdasco notched his 20th victory at the SkiStar Swedish Open on Tuesday, defeating Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
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.
Verdasco will face Pedro Sousa for a quarter-final spot. The Lisbon native overcame Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 37 minutes.
Defending champion David Ferrer also booked his place in the second round, beating ATP World Tour debutant Zdenek Kolar 6-2, 7-5.
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.
The 36-year-old will need to overcome #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud in the second round. Ruud defeated fellow #NextGenATP star Jaume Munar 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-0 on Monday.
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.
Millman will meet Federico Delbonis in the second round. The Argentine came from a set down to beat countryman Horacio Zeballos 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-2.
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.