Verdasco and Stepanek in Brisbane final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:12
The third-seeded Spaniard Verdasco cruised to a 6-2 6-1 triumph over Paul-Henri Mathieu of France while the Czech Republic’s Stepanek, the number eight seed, rallied for a 2-6 6-2 6-4 win against seventh-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Verdasco needed only 76 minutes to oust Mathieu and advance to his first final since winning the title at Umag in July.
Moving past the final four was much more difficult for Stepanek, who fell behind early after winning only 11 of 27 (41%) service points in the opening set.
The 26-year-old rebounded by forging five break points, winning two, and firing a pair of aces in the second set to even the match.
Stepanek once again struggled with his serve in the decisive set, winning 17 of 28 (61%) points. He won two of eight break points to earn the win in two hours, 12 minutes.
Stepanek, who has two career titles and is entering his first final since San Jose in February, is 2-0 lifetime against Verdasco. However, he needed five sets to earn the win in their last meeting during the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2006.