• BNP Paribas Masters

Verdasco digs deep to beat Cilic in Paris

ESPN staff
November 7, 2011
Fernando Verdasco © PA Photos

Fernando Verdasco avoided a third straight defeat after he battled back from a set down to beat Marin Cilic to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.

Verdasco, who fell in the opening round in Valencia last week after being beaten by veteran Juan Carlos Ferrero in Shanghai, looked to be heading for a third consecutive defeat when he dropped the opening set in the French capital, but the Spaniard rallied to claim a 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory.

A single break of serve was the difference between the pair in the opening set as Verdasco was left to rue three double faults, but the Spaniard stepped up his serve in the second set, while Cilic could only manage four points on his second serve as the match headed to a decider.

And Verdasco carried his momentum into the final set, where he wrapped up victory to book a second-round clash with sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who is looking to secure qualification for the ATP World Tour Finals in London this week.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez joined his fellow Spaniard in the second round after his 6-4 1-6 6-4 win over Santiago Giraldo. Garcia-Lopez will meet sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round two, while Philipp Kohlschreiber also progressed after the German beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 6-2.

Alex Bogomolov Jnr battled back from a set down to beat Thomaz Bellucci 4-6 7-6(4) 6-2, while it was a similar story for Julien Benneteau who was roared out by the home support in his 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-4 win over Milos Raonic.

The Paris crowd were given more reason to celebrate, as Nicolas Mahut produced an inspired effort to beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2 6-3.

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