Soderling survives scare

Fifth seed saves three match points against Verdasco

Last Updated: 10/05/11 11:35pm

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Sky Bet

Number five seed Robin Soderling saved three match points to claim an epic 2-6 7-5 6-4 victory over Fernando Verdasco at the Rome Masters.

The Swede made a nightmare start to the second-round clash and his tournament looked over when the Spaniard served for the match in the second set.

However, Soderling grabbed a timely break to turn the set around before prevailing in another closely-fought deciding set.

Verdasco fell 3-0 behind but fought back to get back on level terms only to see Soderling rally again to book a spot in the third round of the clay-court tournament.

Elsewhere in the second round, Seventh seed Tomas Berdych cruised past Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-2 6-2 and 16th seed Richard Gasquet needed just over an hour to see off Russian qualifier Igor Andreev 6-1 6-2.

In round one action, Marin Cilic progressed after fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic was forced to retire with a back problem when trailing 6-4 1-0.

Number nine seed Nicolas Almagro claimed a simple 6-0 7-5 win over Italian wild card Simone Bolelli, taking only 22 minutes to win the first set.

Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded 14th, came from a set down to beat Fabio Fognini 6-7 6-2 6-4 while Ivan Ljubicic, Juan Ignacio Chela and Feliciano Lopez also won in the first round.

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