Verdasco Opens Monterrey Title Bid With Win

Fernando Verdasco (photo: Abierto GNP Seguros)


Top seed Fernando Verdasco opened his title bid at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico with a 6-4, 6-2 first-round win over Zhe Li of China on Tuesday. The World No. 150 from Spain sent down six aces and capitalized on four of his 11 break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 13 minutes.

Verdasco said that it is difficult to adapt to the different conditions of the tournaments, and with the altitude here, the hard-court event was no exception. The 38-year-old added that he struggled in the first three games, but got used to the Estadio GNP Seguros in the following.

The lefty from Madrid, who is accompanied by his family in Monterrey, is bidding for his his first title since lifting his seventh ATP Tour career trophy in Bucharest six years ago. Up next for Verdasco will be Aleksandar Kovacevic from the United States, who defeated fellow qualifier Naoki Nakagawa of Japan 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, No. 2 seed Jay Clarke booked his spot in the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Tung-Lin Wu of Chinese Taipei. The 23-year-old Briton saved both break points he faced and converted three of his own seven break-point opportunities to secure victory in one hour and 14 minutes. Clarke will next take on US-American Ulises Blanch, who battled past Julian Lenz of Germany 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.  The encounter lasted one hour and 41 minutes.


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