2010 Valencia Open 500: Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco make their exits, Gael Monfils moves ahead
First round matches wrapped up recently in Valencia as six professionals battled it out in the three remaining matches. Two second-round matches were also scheduled for the day.
Eighth seed Frenchman Gael Monfils had a hopeful start in the Valencia title run today. Coming fresh from a title win at Montpellier last week, Monfils’ form continued in his first round match on Wednesday. Monfils faced Argentinean
Eduardo Schwank in the first match of the day. In a match that lasted sixty-six minutes, Monfils demonstrated his superior skill set as he maintained the lead in both sets. Serving five aces and losing only fifteen points on service in the entire match, Monfils
enjoyed a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over the Argentinean. Monfils practically cruised his way into the round of sixteen where he will face Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Luck smiled upon Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas as he took to the side court to play his first round match. A matchup against Russian legend, Mikhail Youzhny; qualifying round finalist Cuevas must have been dreading this encounter, expecting
an early round exit. However, the surprise loser from St. Petersburg, Youzhny pulled out of the tournament with a back problem. Replacing Youzhny was yet another Spaniard, the lucky loser Albert Ramos-Vinolas (there are already eleven Spaniards in the main
draw). However, Vinolas’ entry into the main draw was short-lived as he was dismissed in eighty-seven minutes. Cuevas embarrassed Vinolas with a straight set win of 6-3, 6-4. Cuevas goes on to face Italian Potito Starace later in the event.
Although there were eleven Spaniards in the beginning, by Tuesday six of them had already departed. With one more dismissal earlier in the day, it seems luck wasn’t favouring the Spaniards this event. However, local Marcel Granollers
beat the bad luck streak as he won his first round match to move into the round of sixteen. Granollers gained entry into the main draw as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled out of the event due a knee injury. Granollers drew against qualifying round finalist, France’s
Benoit Paire. Enjoying the home court advantage, Granollers brushed aside Paire in little over an hour. Enjoying a straight set win of 6-2, 6-4, Granollers moves on into the second round where he will face wild card entry and compatriot, Pablo Andujar.
A surprising result for the fans at the Agora was the ousting of defending champion, Brit Andy Murray. In the first round-of-sixteen match of the event, top seed Murray faced Argentinean Juan Monaco. In the two hour and eleven
minutes three-setter that followed, Monaco combined his offense and defence perfectly to seal his victory. Monaco took advantage of the three double-faults committed by Murray in the first set to take and maintain the lead, winning the first set 6-2. Murray
fought back in the second set to win it 6-3. However, he could not continue his form into the third set, losing it 2-6 to Monaco. Monaco, enjoying a big win against the defending champion, might prove to be a major contender for the title. The Argentinean
is the first to move into the quarterfinals.
Another Agora upset came in the form of local favourite Fernando Verdasco’s defeat. Playing his second round match against France’s Gilles Simon, Verdasco practically gave the match away committing five double-faults. Simon, who
was quick in his returns, sent the Spaniard running all over the court. In an embarrassing defeat of 1-6, 3-6, 3rd seed Verdasco exited the tournament putting his London qualification in much danger. Simon lost a total of eleven points on service
in the entire match to seal his victory in fifty-seven minutes. Simon moves ahead to join Monaco in the quarterfinal round. Verdasco’s defeat puts a damper on Spain’s wishes of a home-grown champion.