Verdasco wins 1st match at Australian Open
Fernando Verdasco of Spain has beaten Carsten Ball 6-7 (4), 7-6 (1), 7-5, 6-2 in a first-round match at the Australian Open.
The ninth-seeded Verdasco had problems at first handling the serve of the big California-based Australian, but eventually wore down Ball on Tuesday with a selection of ground strokes that pulled his opponent out of position.
Ball was also plagued by several unforced errors on key points, including at 5-6 in the third set when he was serving to stay in the set.
Verdasco was a semifinalist last year at the Australian Open, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the longest match in the tournament's history - a 5-hour, 14-minute marathon which started at dusk on the final Friday and ended at 1:07 a.m. Saturday.