It took 3 sets but 7th seeded Fernando Verdasco finally shook Robin Haase, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. The win propels the Spaniard to the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem Open.
Verdasco did not serve well, double faulting nine times but played solid defense breaking Haase 3 times out of his 8 chances. He has made the best of his wild card entry into the tournament and is now one of the favorites to win. But to advance, Verdasco will have to defeat the winner of tonights marquee match up between Gael Monfils and Tommy Robredo.
Another afternoon victor was Jurgen Melzer of Austria. The 31 year old veteran was able to exert dominance over 5th seeded Benoit Paire early in the match and kept the Frenchman at an arms length distance. He went on to defeat the man who knocked James Blake out of the tournament on Tuesday, 6-4, 6-3. Melzer entered the tournament as the nine seed and sits at 33rd in the World. The scrappy veteran benefited from Paire's poor first serve performance breaking 4 times in the two sets.
In other early matches, Steve Johnson's victory over 2nd seed Andreas Seppi was short lived. Yen Hsun-Lu defeated the American qualifier in just over an hour, 6-3, 6-2. Johnson could not make any inroads into Lu's service game. Lu will meet Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Dmitry Tursunov was too much for Alex Bogomolov, Jr. defeating his fellow countryman 6-3, 7-5. The Russian continues his successful summer advancing to the quarterfinals where he will face off with Jurgen Melzer.
The matches were interrupted by a brief period of rain but were able to continue quickly afterwards.