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David Ferrer survives wobble on way to four-set victory

David Ferrer follows through on a backhand during his quarter-final match against Andy Murary.
by Dan Imhoff
Monday 23 June 2014

Showing no signs of a stomach illness that plagued his grasscourt preparations, David Ferrer recovered from a second-set howler to run away with a 6-0, 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-1 victory over countryman Pablo Carreno Busta.

The No.7 seed registered a bagel to open his Wimbledon 2014 campaign before racing to 3-0 with an ace giving his 22-year-old opponent – playing his first match on grass – cause to feel a sickening sensation of his own.

Facing the embarrassment of not landing a game in the first two sets, Carreno Busta finally got on the board for 1-3 and with that monkey off his back, began to find his range, breaking his idol when he served for the set before levelling at 5-5.

A pair of aces split by a superb low backhand volley winner helped Carreno Busta hold to force the tie-break and from there he brought the No.3 Court crowd to life, bringing up five set points with his eighth ace of the match and taking it after correctly challenging an ace in his favour.

Awarded the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award in 2013, Carreno Busta had never played a match on grass. He played a whopping 110 matches on tour last year and finished just outside the top 60, having started the year ranked No.715.

But other than the second-set comeback, he struggled with the constant pressure the 32-year-old applied.

Perturbed at letting the second set slip when in total control, Ferrer broke immediately to begin the third and would concede just two further games for the match; his 43 winners nearly three times his unforced error count.

Former quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic – who took out Sam Querrey, James Blake and Richard Gasquet en route to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year – registered his first Grand Slam match win of the year with an impressive 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

The Australian earned a rematch with Tomas Berdych, the player who ended his run last year, and knows what he had to do differently to last time.

“That sort of player, if he's sort of beating you from the start and he's up one or two sets, it's difficult to come back because he's a great player and he's a good frontrunner. So I need to win the first set and put pressure on him. Then everything can change,” Tomic said. “Here is where I've played best tennis in the past. The pressure sort of comes out.”

Meanwhile, No.16 seed Fabio Fognini conjured just his fourth comeback from two sets down in his career to deny American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov 2-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 9-7 on Court 18 under fading light. The flamboyant Italian was able to cast aside a point penalty for racket abuse at 2-2 in the fifth to hold out the Ukrainian-born world No.148.

With his countryman and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic in his corner, dangerous Croatian Marin Cilic overcame a slow start to charge home against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-1. Taking a leaf out of his big-serving coach’s book, the No.26 seed finished with a commanding 27 aces to his opponent’s five and his 61 winners almost double Mathieu’s. He meets Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer next.

It was a short outing on home soil for James Ward, the British wild card soundly beaten by Russian No.17 seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 1hr 45min before a full No.3 Court. Despite finishing with 24 winners each, it was a far more measured performance from the 32-year-old Russian, committing less than half the unforced errors.

Italian No.25 seed Andreas Seppi let a two-sets-to-one lead slip in his five-set defeat against Argentine Leonardo Mayer. The world No.64 will have the chance to pass the second round at Wimbledon for the first time after his 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6(4) 6-4 win and will face Marcos Baghdatis. South African No.20 seed Kevin Anderson had a convincing 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Slovenian lucky loser Aljaz Bedene.

Follow the latest news and scores from Wimbledon 2014 on Wimbledon.com or download the official iPhone, Android and iPad apps.

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