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  • Ljubicic takes out Verdasco, Simon also cruises

    5/28/11 7:19 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ljubicic takes out Verdasco, Simon also cruises Gilles Simon and Ivan Ljubicic storm into the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday. They earn straight-set wins over Mardy Fish and Fernando Verdasco, respectively.

    (18) Gilles Simon d. (10) Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

    Simon booked a spot in the fourth round of the French Open for the first time in his career by erasing Fish in two hours on Saturday afternoon. Playing at home in France and able to handle his opponent's power on a slower surface, Simon looked comfortable right from the start. The world No. 18 capitalized on poor serving from Fish and he converted the only break point of the opening set before serving it out at 5-3.

    Fish played his best set of tennis in the second, but it still wasn't enough to overcome Simon's consistency. The 10th-ranked American finally earned a break of his own but donated his own serve twice, allowing Simon to finish things off at 5-4. From there it was all over, as the Frenchman stormed to a 4-0 lead in the third and cruised to victory. Simon awaits either qualifier Leonardo Mayer or No. 5 seed Robin Soderling.

    Ivan Ljubicic d. (16) Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-4

    Ljubicic had no trouble extending Verdasco's 2011 woes as the veteran Croat rolled into the Roland Garros fourth round after two hours and 14 minutes of play. Verdasco is just 15-12 this season and although he looked decent in rounds one and two, he came out slow on Saturday. Ljubicic seized two breaks in the first set and served it out at 5-3 for a quick lead.

    Verdasco managed to be competitive in both the second and third, but he seemed to struggle both mentally and physically at the crucial moments. The 20th-ranked Spaniard dropped the middle tiebreaker eight points to six and threw away a break advantage in the third. Ljubicic then held at 4-4 and broke easily in the final game to clinch the match in style. The world No. 37 advances to a showdown with five-time champion Rafael Nadal.




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