• Verdasco handles Monaco, Soderling beats Harrison

    5/25/11 4:18 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Verdasco handles Monaco, Soderling beats Harrison Fernando Verdasco takes care of Juan Monaco in four sets on Tuesday at Roland Garros. Robin Soderling also reaches the second round with a four-set win over Ryan Harrison.

    (16) Fernando Verdasco d. Juan Monaco 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

    Verdasco had not been playing well heading into the French Open, but he produced enough game to get past Monaco in four sets during first-round action on Tuesday afternoon. Although the match developed into mostly an error-fest, Verdasco started strong and took it to his opponent in the opening frame of play. The 20th-ranked Spaniard held serve the entire way and his second break of the day finished things off at 5-2. Verdasco also closed out the second with a break, this time striking decisively at 6-5.

    Monaco did not raise his level in the third, but he capitalized on a significant drop in form from Verdasco. The 43rd-ranked Argentine hit only three winners against 13 errors, but his opponent sprayed 25 mistakes in the 10-game span. Monaco's one break in seven chances was enough before he forced a fourth set with a hold at 5-4. He even led 4-3 with a break in the second, but Verasco won the last three games to advance. Next up for the No. 16 seed is Xavier Malisse, a five-set winner over Dmitry Tursunov.

    (5) Robin Soderling d. (LL) Ryan Harrison 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5

    Harrison came out like a 19-year-old lucky loser startled to find himself in the main draw, but he went on to put up a stellar fight before falling to Soderling in two hours and 48 minutes on Tuesday afternoon. The underdog American dropped the first set in a mere 20 minutes, but he traded breaks with his opponent in the second and won the decider seven points to five.

    Soderling regained control with just a single break in the third frame of play. The fifth-ranked Swede did not come close to giving it back as he surrendered only three points in five service games. A more tense fourth saw Soderling save multiple break points at 3-4 to stay on serve before seizing a final break at 5-5. Harrison, clearly disgruntled with a racket throw after dropping serve, saved one match point in the following game but Soderling closed out the proceedings without too much trouble. Next up for the No. 5 seed is Albert Ramos.

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