Ferrer beats Roger-Vasselin in Portugal
Spaniard David Ferrer began his clay rehabilitation after a first-round loss last week, with the top seed reaching the quarterfinals of the Portugal Open in a difficult 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 defeat of Eduardo Roger-Vasselin on Wednesday.
Ferrer, who played as tournament No 1 in Barcelona a week ago but went out in his opening round, had it all to play for in Portugal, where he had not set foot on court since 2009.
The 73rd-ranked Roger-Vasselin recovered an early break in the first set and then rose to the occasion again as Ferrer led a set and 4-2 in the second.
"I was up a set, 4-2, 40-0 and serving," said the 31-year-old Spaniard, who has won titles this season in Auckland and Buenos Aires as well as finishing as runner-up on clay in Acapulco to Rafael Nadal.
"But suddenly I lost my concentration and the game and set. I played OK in the third but I had to fight back. I have to really lift my level for the next round."
The Spaniard said he was at home last weekend when he got the call from Portugal organisers to take the place of holder Juan Del Potro, who had come down with a stomach virus and would not be able to defend his title.
"I was very glad to get the chance to play," said Ferrer. "It was what I needed after Barcelona.""
Ferrer on Friday takes on Romanian Victor Hanescu, who also beat a French opponent as he put out sixth seed Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
Ferrer improved his record at the tournament to 2-3 in a win which took the better part of two hours.
The ATP No 4 lifted his 2013 record to 26-6 and has defeated Hanescu in two previous meetings, including Barcelona on clay in 2011.