De­fend­ing champ Fer­nando Ver­dasco ad­vances

The China Post - - SPORTS -

De­fend­ing cham­pion Fer­nando Ver­dasco beat 18-year-old Hyeon Chung 7-6 (2), 6-2 on Thurs­day in the sec­ond round of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Cham­pi­onship.

The sixth- seeded Ver­dasco, from Spain, sur­vived stiff early re­sis­tance from Chung, then broke the South Korean player in the fifth game of the sec­ond set and coasted to the victory.

Ver­dasco — at 32, 14 years Chung’s se­nior — couldn’t solve his op­po­nent’s serve in the first set, but that first break in the sec- ond set seemed to de­mor­al­ize the teenager.

“Af­ter the first break of the match maybe he went down men­tally,” Ver­dasco said. “But he plays re­ally good to be 18. He moves well and has strong legs. He has a good fore­hand and a good back­hand and serves all the time at 120-some­thing. He’s pretty com­plete. With a lit­tle more ex­pe­ri­ence, he’s go­ing to go high in the rank­ings.”

Chung was the first South Korean player to win a main-draw match in the tour­na­ment since Hyung-Taik Lee reached the fi­nal in 2001.

Amer­i­can Jack Sock up­set sec­ond-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 6-4.

The 22-year-old Sock is play­ing his third tour­na­ment of the year af­ter hav­ing surgery to re­pair a torn mus­cle in his pelvis in De­cem­ber.

“Tricky con­di­tions to­day,” Sock said. “Windy, sun in and out of the clouds. A lot go­ing on. But I was for­tu­nate. I played well and got through. But I was able to dic­tate play with my fore­hand and the clay helps my kick serves. They get up out of his strike zone and he likes ev­ery­thing in the pocket.”

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