© SkiStar Swedish Open / Linda Carlsson

David Ferrer improves to a 5-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Dustin Brown with victory in the Bastad second round.

Ferrer Stays Perfect In Bastad

Former champion Cuevas, top seed Carreno Busta make early exits

David Ferrer maintained his perfect FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Dustin Brown, improving to a 5-0 mark on Wednesday at the SkiStar Swedish Open. In front of Swedish greats, who had come to the beach resort in celebration of the ATP World Tour 250 tournament’s 70th anniversary, the two-time Bastad champion dismissed the German 6-2, 6-3. 

Ferrer had required three sets to defeat Brown in their quarter-final clash last year in Bastad, but the eighth seed cruised through Wednesday's second-round encounter in 55 minutes as he capitalised on all four of his break points. He is looking to reclaim the title following triumphs in 2007 and '12 (d. Almagro both times). 

The Spaniard next faces World No. 100 Henri Laaksonen, who handed third-seeded Uruguayan and 2014 champion Pablo Cuevas his first loss before the Bastad quarter-finals in four visits (9-3 event record) with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 68 minutes.

“I had to stay aggressive as he is one of the best players on clay,” said Laaksonen, who is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final. “I’m really happy to win today. I had to go and try to win it.”

Andrey Kuznetsov recorded his third win in four meetings over Pablo Carreno Busta, capitalising on the Spaniard’s lack of match sharpness. World No. 88 Kuznetsov fought hard from a set and 3-5 deficit to beat the top seed 4-6, 7-6(5), 3-0.

Carreno Busta, who came within two points of victory when he served for his 28th match win of the year at 5-3 in the second set, was attempting to bounce back after a left abdominal muscle fracture had kept him off the grass-court swing. The World No. 18 retired due to a left abdominal injury after two hours and nine minutes of play.

“The key was not to give up until the end,” said Kuznetsov. “I felt that I played during the whole match, in the first and second sets I had 14 break point chances, but converted only one. In the end I played well in the tie-break, then I saw in the third set he couldn’t move or serve that well.”

In the quarter-finals on Friday, Kuznetsov will challenge seventh seed Diego Schwartzman, who reached his fifth clay-court quarter-final of the year when he recorded his 15th match win on red dirt over fellow Argentine Renzo Olivo 6-4, 6-1 in 84 minutes.

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Zimonjic Closes In On Milestone

Nenad Zimonjic, 41, is now one match win away from becoming the 10th player in ATP World Tour history to record 700 doubles victories. The Serbian partnered David Marrero, as second seeds this week, to a 6-7(2), 7-5, 10-3 first-round victory over Andre Begemann and Philipp Oswald in one hour and 40 minutes. They will next play Swedish brothers Elias Ymer and Mikael Ymer.

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