Just a month after beating Rafael Nadal in Miami, Fernando Verdasco was stunned today in Barcelona by 17-year-old qualifier Andrey Rublev 7-6(4), 6-3 in the opening round. It was the young Russian’s biggest career win, and fifth of his career on the ATP tour.
The No. 329-ranked Rublev moves on to face Fabio Fognini tomorrow. Rublev won the 2014 French Open juniors.
Verdasco won the Barcelona title in 2010.
Ruso, 17 años y con cara de niño.Ha dado la campanada en el Godó eliminando a Verdasco. Rublev no se lo podía creer. https://t.co/hTsd4e49no
— Tenis en CANAL+ (@teniscanalplus) April 21, 2015
Defending champion Kei Nishikori began his clay season in good form with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Teymuraz Gabashvili.
“I played a good two sets today,” said Nishikori. “It wasn’t easy for my first match on clay this year, but I served great. It’s always special to come back and defend the title here, where there is such great facilities.”
Tomorrow, 8-time champion Rafael Nadal returns to face countryman Nicolas Almagro. Almagro beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of Barcelona last year.
“Almagro is a great player and always a dangerous opponent,” said Nadal Monday. “I have to try to find my way, but it will be difficult against Nico.”
In an all-teen battle, Nick Kyrgios faces fellow 19-year-old Elias Ymer of Sweden.
Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also in action Wednesday in Barcelona.
You Might Like:
Nadal Goes for 6 in a Row at ATP Barcelona
Nadal Seeks 8th Barcelona Title Against Almagro; Sharapova Eyes Stuttgart Repeat
Hot Sauce Too Spicy for Soderling in ATP Barcelona Final
No Chung Change for South Korean who Wins Next Gen ATP Finals
Nadal Goes for 11 at ATP Barcelona Open; Preview