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Tennis

Verdasco ousts Dimitrov to reach French Open last 16

Fernando Verdasco has reached the last 16 on seven of his 15 visits to the French Open.
Fernando Verdasco has reached the last 16 on seven of his 15 visits to the French Open. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Fernando Verdasco crushed the fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the last 16 at the French Open. It was the 34-year-old Spaniard’s 350th clay court match and he displayed his vast array of guile and cunning to outwit the Bulgarian who has never reached the fourth round in Paris.

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"You have to draw the line and look for the next chapter," lamented Dimitrov after his demise. “In tennis you never know one week can always turn things around for you. It's been proven to work in the past."

Verdasco, seeded 30th, said he grew in confidence after claiming the first set. The Spaniard first appeared at the French Open in 2004. In his debut campaign he reached the second round. In his subsequent 14 appearances he has reached the last 16 seven times.

"I think that my motivation comes from the wish to achieve good things and play matches like this in this tournament which are the greatest in the world," he said reflecting on his record in Paris.

"This is something that really motivates me to help me train every day and to do the best and be in the best shape to be able to face these tournaments."

Verdasco will take on the former world number one Novak Djokovic after he dispatched Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets.

The 2016 champion smashed his racquet after dropping the second set. But after the tantrum he recovered his poise to win the third and fourth sets.

"Fours hours for the match and I'm a bit tired,” said Djokovic. “Roberto plays with too much patience for me. I'm very happy to have won the match."

 

 

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