The defending champion continues his impressive form

Ferrer through to Bastad quarters



Originally published on 26/02/10 11:05

Top seed David Ferrer began the defence of his Catella Swedish Open title with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Boris Pashanski. The 26-year-old will next meet either No.8 seed Robin Soderling or Olivier Rochus in the quarter finals.

World No.4 Ferrer is in a rich vein of form on the ATP Tour. He won his hometown event in Valencia in April, and last month clinched his first grass-court title in Hertogenbosch, as well as reaching the final in Barcelona before losing to Nadal.

Third seed and 2006 champion Tommy Robredo beat Jonas Bjorkman 6-2 6-3 in 69 minutes, despite Bjorkman having points for a 4-1 lead in the second set.

Robredo will next meet No.7 seed Jarkko Nieminen, who he beat in the 2006 semi finals. Nieminen cruised past Steve Darcis of Belgium 6-3 6-1.

In Newport, the curse of the No.1 seed struck again as Mardy Fish lost his opening match to qualifier Rohan Bopanna in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
Bopanna saved seven break points and fought off one set point at 5-6 in the first set tiebreak to reach the first ATP quarterfinal of his career. The world No.374 has won just nine ATP Tour matches.

Fish becomes the latest victim of the ‘Casino Curse’. No top seed in the tournament’s 31-year history has ever won the event. Bopanna said: “I continued the curse. I am sorry about that.

I was not concerned about what ranking he was,” Bopanna added. I was aggressive and kept it simple. Every time you achieve something it is exciting, and something you cherish. I cannot cherish it for too long, for I have to play again tomorrow.

Fish was not impressed with the courts. If you told me I was going to break him twice, I would have felt comfortable thinking I had a good chance to win the match.

Some guys have success here, where elsewhere, with true bounces, they do not succeed. It is extremely disappointing. I have never played well here. I so, so, so desperately want to do well here. Every year, I come in thinking I have the game and I am ready. Every year I leave here scratching my head.

In a double success for India, Prakash Amritraj also reached the quarterfinals with a 7-5 6-3 win over Jesse Levine. With Amritraj and Bopanna set to clash in the quarterfinals, India is guaranteed to have a player in the semifinals.

No.4 seed Russian Igor Kunitsyn dropped just four points on his first serve in a 6-1, 6-1 win over Russian Mikhail Ledovskikh. Meanwhile, No.7 seed Frank Dancevic rallied from a set down again to oust American qualifier Brendan Evans 5-7 6-4 7-6(3).

He played great, Dancevic noted afterwards. This was probably one of the best matches of his life. I could tell as the sets got closer that he was becoming nervous. Until then he was solid with penetrating volleys. It gives me confidence to get through close matches.

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