Verdasco survives scare, Nieminen and Troicki progress at the Thailand Open

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Fernando Verdasco bounced back from losing the first set to avoid a surprise defeat against Tatsuma Ito in the first round of the 2012 Thailand Open, winning 3-6 6-0 6-2. One of a number of Japanese players in the draw, Ito was thought to have the toughest draw of them all but looked like he could pull of a shock when he took a crazy first set 6-3 coming from a break down. Serving wasn’t proving to be much of an advantage as there were five breaks in the first set in total, Ito taking the all important one at 4-3 to have the opportunity to serve for the set which he would do comfortably to love. Unfortunately for the Japanese, he would lose all momentum in the second set as Verdasco put on a performance more representative of his ranking – losing just seven points the whole set.

Ito didn’t quite collapse after the awful second set and infact had chances to break on each of Verdasco’s next two service games in the final set. Three chances came and went as Ito would live to regret his wastefulness as Verdasco broke in games four and eight, the latter for the match.

Another seed to come back from a set down to win was Viktor Troicki, who shrugged off a first set tiebreak defeat to get the victory against Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 7-5 6-3.

After twice coming from a break down in the first, the Serb’s serve would collapse at the vital moment in the break as he would pick up just two of five on serve. Not being able to keep hold of a break would be a recurring theme in this match but the second set it would be Troicki being pegged back. Fortunately he would manage to break at the best time, taking advantage of a poor service game to break at 5-6 and consequently the set to tie it up. Troicki would almost blow a 4-1 lead in the decider but after breaking back Stakhovsky could not take advantage a 40-0 lead on serve to tie it up. He would eventually be broken and Troicki gratefully took the chance to serve out the match which he would do so comfortably to earn a second round match with either Kevin Anderson or Gael Monfils..

Jarkko Nieminen was handed a free pass to the second round after opponent Yuichi Sugita retired at the end of the first set. Niemenen had dominated in the first set and won it 6-1 before injury cut short the encounter. The Finn will take on Philipp Petzschner in round two.

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