Spaniard Fernando Verdasco suffered a disappointing second-round loss at the US Open against Hyeon Chung, letting slip a 6-1, 6-2 lead and also failing to convert a match point in the fifth set. But the Spaniard wiped away those memories on Monday, defeating Belgian Steve Darcis 6-2, 6-2 to reach the second round of the Moselle Open.
The fifth seed began this ATP 250 tennis tournament with just a 1-2 record at the event. The last time Verdasco competed in Metz, four years ago, he lost against then-18-year-old Alexander Zverev.
But the veteran lefty faced few problems against Darcis, saving the only break point he faced and winning 64 per cent of his second-serve return points in his 69-minute triumph. Verdasco leads Darcis 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, winning all nine sets they have played.
Verdasco will next face 2017 Rolex Paris Masters finalist Filip Krajinovic, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 7-5, 6-4 after one hour and 24 minutes. It was an impressive win for the Serbian considering Gojowczyk claimed his lone ATP Tour crown in Metz two years ago.
A Frenchman is through to the second round, as wild card Antoine Hoang ousted German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes. The 23-year-old will next face sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz or countryman Gregoire Barrere.
Second-Seeded Doubles Tandem Eliminated
Robert Lindstedt and Jan-Lennard Struff upset second seeds Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan 6-4, 7-6(15) to reach the second round in the doubles draw. Bambridge and McLachlan were carrying strong form into this tournament, their first since reaching the US Open quarter-finals. Lindstedt and Struff are competing together for the first time.