ATP Barcelona Open: Second seed David Ferrer makes shock exit to Teymuraz Gabashvili
Four-time finalist David Ferrer suffered a shock exit from the Barcelona Open after losing to Teymuraz Gabashvili.
Last Updated: 24/04/14 7:36am
The 32-year-old, who stunned Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters last week, was knocked out by a Russian opponent for the second straight year, losing 6-4 6-2.
The 55th-ranked Gabashvili rallied from 3-0 down before dominating Ferrer on the red dirt of the Catalan capital to reach the last 16.
Gabashvili kept four-time finalist Ferrer running to the corners, and the second seed was surprisingly unable to keep up with shots he normally returns, looking fatigued at times.
Ferrer slapped a crosscourt forehand long for Gabashvili to clinch it after one hour and 21 minutes.
"This was one of my best victories, no in fact it is my best ever, beating David Ferrer," the 28-year-old Gabashvili told reporters.
"I went into the game knowing that I had to be steady and controlled which is what I managed to do."
Last season Ferrer lost at the same stage at the Club de Tenis, going out to Dmitry Tursunov after losing a quartet of finals to Nadal over the years.
Eight-time champion and top seed Nadal had no such problems against Albert Ramos, though he did take nearly two hours to overcome his compatriot 7-6 (7/2) 6-4.
"It was a positive victory for me," said Nadal on the ATP's official website.
"Obviously I didn't play my best match, but after the defeat in Monte-Carlo, the next match on court was never going to be easy.
"I am happy with the way I fought and proud of the victory today. The victories are more important when you haven't played well. I feel happy to be through on a tough day for the top seeds."
Ivan Dodig will be next up for the world No 1 after the unseeded Croatian knocked Feliciano Lopez out of this year's tournament thanks to a 6-1 6-4 victory.
In a day of shocks, fellow seeds Fabio Fognini and Jerzy Janowicz exited the tournament to Santiago Giraldo and Jurgen Melzer respectively.
Other winners were the 11th-ranked Fernando Verdasco against Kenny De Schepper and 12th seed Marin Cilic over Andrey Kuznetsov.
Sixth seed Nicolas Almagro beat Slovakia's Martin Klizan 7-5 7-6 (4), while another Spaniard Albert Montanes dispatched eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov from Russia 7-6 (5) 6-3.
"It was a tough match, he gets a lot of balls back and makes life difficult," Montanes said. "I'm very pleased to have gotten through in straight sets.
"I'm playing well and my confidence is high, it's a good moment for me. The secret right now seems to be in good mental preparation."