Verdasco Returns To Winners’ Circle In Monterrey

Fernando Verdasco (photo: Abierto GNP Seguros)


World No. 150 Fernando Verdasco has clinched his first title since winning his seventh ATP Tour career trophy in Bucharest six years ago by lifting the trophy of the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico.

The top seed of the $106,240 ATP Challenger hard-court tournament battled past No. 7 seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in Saturday’s singles final.

In the first set, Verdasco won 95 per cent of his first-service points, however, the 38-year-old Spaniard did not show the same consistency on his second serve, where he only won two of the 10 points played. In the ninth game Gunneswaran broke him to go up 5-4 and hold in the next game to secure the opening set.

Verdasco responded in the second set by breaking Gunneswaran’s serve in the fourth game, which was key for the Madrid native to push the match the distance.

At the start of the final set, Verdasco proved his favorite status by breaking the Indian’s first service game and was able to keep the break up for the entire set until in the 10th game when the Iberian failed to serve the match out. The 32-year-old from Chennai held the next game to take a 6-5 lead and came close to winning the encounter by taking a 30-0 lead, but the Spaniard turned the pressure and frustration in his favor and held serve to force a tie-break. Verdasco took advantage by gaining two mini-breaks to win the decider 7-3 after two hours and 12 minutes.


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Verdasco, who has captured seven ATP Tour career titles and reached a career-high ranking of World No. 7 in April 2009, claimed his second Challenger crown following his maiden triumph on home soil at the Open Castilla y Leon in Segovia 2007.

Verdasco earned $14,400 in prize money and pocketed 100 ATP Ranking points.

Hach Verduco/Krajicked crowned doubles champions

Earlier in the day, Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico and Austin Krajicek from the United States captured the doubles the title. The top seeds defeated fourth favourites US-American Robert Galloway and John-Patrick Smith of Australia 6-0, 6-3 in only 49 minutes.

By winning their first team title, Hach Verdugo and Krajicek split $6,200 in prize money and earned 100 ATP Doubles Ranking points.

“Thank you all for coming to support me,” local hero Hach Verdugo told the crowd afterwards. “This is my first Challenger that I win here in Mexico, in Monterrey, and I will never forget this day.”


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