Top-seeded Verdasco saves match point before advancing to quarters at Swedish Open

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Verdasco reaches quarterfinals at Swedish Open

BASTAD, Sweden — Top-seeded Fernando Verdasco has reached the quarterfinals of the Swedish Open, saving a match point late in the third set before beating Daniel Koellerer 6-7 (1), 6-2, 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, No. 5 Nicolas Almagro of Spain and unseeded Andreas Vinciguerra of Sweden also reached the last eight on Thursday in the 62nd edition of the clay-court tournament.

Leading 5-4, Koellerer reached match point when the Spaniard hit a forehand wide. But the unseeded Austrian hit a long return next, then made two unforced errors and Verdasco held to 5-5.

Verdasco broke to lead 6-5 and then held to love, ending the three-hour match with an ace.

Melzer defeated Daniel-Gimeno Traver of Spain 6-2, 6-2 to line up a match with Vinciguerra, who ousted qualifier Guillermo Canas of Argentina 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.

Almagro rallied past Potito Starace of Italy 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 and will play Robin Soderling of Sweden.

Koellerer was treated during two changeovers late in the third set because of calf cramps. After being broken in the 11th game and falling on the court, a trainer and an official helped him to his chair.

“I was cramping all over my legs, but at 5-5 it was impossible to play any more,” Koellerer said. “I’m really disappointed because I had a lot of chances in the third set. It was a very good match. At the end I think he deserved to win.”

Koellerer also had four break points when leading 4-3 in the third set.

Verdasco will play either Victor Crivoli of Romania or Juan Monaco of Argentina in Friday’s quarterfinals.

“It was really hard,” Verdasco said. “He played really good. My last weekend in the Davis Cup was so hard. I played 11½ hours in three days, two five-set matches and the other one four sets with a lot of pressure. It’s hard for me to be 100 percent all the time. My legs felt a little bit tired.”

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