Fernando Verdasco saved three match points on his way to a stunning victory over Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic in the second round of the Australian Open today.
The Spanish ninth seed looked to be on his way home at two sets down and again when Tipsarevic served for the match in the fourth set when leading 6-5.
But Verdasco hung in there, saving one of the match points with a stunning running pass down the line from way out of the court, and eventually came through 2-6 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7/0) 6-0.
Having been taken to the fourth set breaker Tipsarevic crumbled, winning just five points the rest of the way.
Verdasco will now meet Kei Nishikori, the young Japanese player beating Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4 6-3 0-6 6-3.
Andy Roddick, the eighth seed, overcame a tight first set to see off Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (9/7) 6-2 6-3 and the American was pleased to have got through in a little over two hours.
“It could have got uncomfortable today if that first set had got away,” he said.
“You always try to convince yourself it is a good thing to get through a tough set like that, but going into the match, if you’re given an option, you want it to be as easy as possible every time.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball fine. I’m serving very well, controlling the match with that right now. That’s always a good thing for me.”
Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist and sixth seed, beat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4, while 17th seed Ivan Ljubicic saw off Benoit Paire 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-4 7-6 (7/5).
Berdych will meet 28th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet next. Gasquet today beat countryman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets.
Mardy Fish is out, though, after losing to Spain’s Tommy Robredo. The 16th-seeded American started well before Robredo upped his game to go through courtesy of a 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 triumph.