© Abierto Los Cabos

Fernando Verdasco defeats Ernesto Escobedo in three sets in Los Cabos for the second time this season.

Verdasco Bounces Back From The Brink In Mexico

Sixth seed does it the hard way to hold out NextGenATP prospect

Fernando Verdasco is through to the second round of the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel but not without an almighty scare. The Spanish No. 6 seed saved two match points to deny NextGenATP player Ernesto Escobedo 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2 on Tuesday.

Escobedo, No. 83 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, channelled his Mexican heritage and had the Los Cabos crowd in his favour as he surged to a 7-6(6), 5-3 lead. The 33-year-old Verdasco then managed to recover from 15/40 - two match points for Escobedo - and reeled off 10 of the last 12 games for victory in two hours and 22 minutes.

It was the second time this season the pair had clashed. Verdasco also won their prior showdown in three sets in the second round of the Miami Open presented by Itau. Unseeded Vincent Millot is next. The Frenchman saw off lucky loser Brydan Klein 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Earlier, Millot’s countryman, NextGenATP player qualifier Quentin Halys, upset defending champion Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 7-6(8). The 20 year old withstood 12 aces and saved four break points on his way to a second-round meeting with Damir DzumhurIt marked just Halys’s second ATP World Tour match win after he defeated fellow NextGenATP player Stefan Kozlov first up in Atlanta last week.

American Bjorn Fratangelo posted a 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan’s Tatsuma Ito. He will next face No. 7 seed Adrian MannarinoCanada’s Peter Polanksy also advanced. His 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama booked a second-round clash with Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis.

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