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De Bakker Inflicts Costly Defeat On Verdasco

World No. 46 Thiemo de Bakker dealt a blow to Fernando Verdasco’s bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, defeating the Spaniard 7-6(4), 7-5 in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Monday.

Verdasco suffered his third successive opening-round defeat on the ATP World Tour, having also fallen at the first hurdle in Bangkok (l. to Becker) and Beijing (l. to Kohlschreiber) in the past two weeks. The Madrileno is bidding to qualify for the season finale in London for the second year in a row and began the week at No. 9 in the year-to-date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, with the Top 8 to qualify.

The 22-year-old de Bakker clinched a close opening set on a tie-break, before fighting back from a 2-5 deficit in the second set to win five straight games and seal victory in one hour and 53 minutes. The Dutchman recorded his second Top 10 win of the season, having also beaten then-No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to the Barcelona semi-finals (l. to Soderling) in April.