Spaniard Fernando Verdasco brushed aside Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6(5), 6-1 to book a spot in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open. He will face off against fellow countryman Rafael Nadal.
Verdasco comes through in tiebreaker
Herbert started the contest with a hold of serve. He then applied a little bit of pressure to Verdasco, taking him to deuce but he came through relatively comfortably to also hold serve for 1-1. The next two serves games flashed by with the set at 2-2. The fifth game, however, saw the 33-year-old bring up a first break point of the set when Herbert's serve let him down.
He saved the point with an overhead winner to send the game to deuce. But Verdasco came straight back at the 25-year-old and forced an error to bring up a second break point. This time, he managed to grab the game with the Frenchman shanking a forehand. This was followed by a good hold of serve to take a 4-2 lead.
Despite being a break infront, Verdasco never quite looked secure and Herbert found an opening with the Spaniard serving for the set. Up love-40, the world number 29 then began making basic errors and allowed Herbert a way into the game and soon after the game was at deuce. A well-timed forehand down the line forced Verdasco to hit an error as a break point came the way of Herbert.
Which he took to break the Spaniard before going 6-5 up. A tiebreaker was needed to decide the set. Down 1-4 in the breaker, Verdasco rallied and won six of the next seven points to go 6-5 up and earn a set point. Herbert sent a forehand wide and the set was won by the 33-year-old, 7-6(5).
Verdasco runs away with the set, advances to the next round
Having taken the first set, Verdasco had the momentum on his side, which he used greatly. With the score at 2-1 in his favor, Herbert hit a forehand error which presented his opponent with two break points. An unreturnable serve followed by an ace sent the game to deuce but more errors crept into the Herbert game and a third break point was brought up. He would save a third break point but would then face a fourth break point, which would see Verdasco take it with a forehand error to go 3-1 up.
He backed this up with an impressive hold of serve to love before digging the 25-year-old a deeper hole in the match, bringing up further break points, three of them. Despite saving one of three, Herbert's serve lets him down once again with a double fault and the Spaniard soon found himself serving for the match after just 20 minutes of the set at 5-1. A poor drop shot from Herbert was quickly closed down and Verdasco played the shot into the open court which presented him with triple match points. A forehand winner sealed the contest for the Spaniard, 6-1.