The 5th seed Fernando Verdasco is through to his third quarter-final of the season after a commanding 6-3 6-2 win over Pedro Sousa in an hour and four minutes in what has been their first match on the Tour. It wasn't the best performance from the experienced Spaniard on serve, dropping 40% of the points behind his initial shot and giving his serve away twice but he compensated all that with a superb display on the return, winning 55% of the points on Sousa's serve and breaking him five times from 11 chances to control the scoreboard all the time.
It was a very tight match in the opening five games, with all of those reaching 30-30, and the first break came in game six when Sousa netted a backhand to trail 4-2. Fernando sailed through his service games and he closed the set with another good hold in game nine after another backhand error from the Portuguese.
The Spaniard opened a 3-0 gap in the second set with two breaks and he went on to break Pedro twice more, winning all four return games and bringing the match home safely despite the fact Sousa managed to pull two breaks back in games four and six.
In fact, we saw five straight breaks between games three and seven before Verdasco sealed the deal with a hold at 15 in game eight for the place in the quarters. The 32-year-old Italian Simone Bolelli has advanced to his second ATP quarter-final of the season (he has won three ATP matches before Bastad so far in 2018) after a 7-6 6-3 triumph over the top seed Diego Schwartzman in an hour and 54 minutes. Bolelli served at 74% and he saved five out of eight break points in his games, taking 46% of the return points to grab four breaks from seven chances on Schwartzman's serve.
The Argentinian had a handful 5-2 lead in the opening set and a couple of set points in the tie break but it wasn't to be for him, losing the opener after almost 70 minutes and squandering advantage in set number two to hit the exit door after just one match.
The Argentinian broke in game two after forcing an error from Simone and they both served well until game nine when Diego could close the set on own serve. Bolelli broke back in the very last moment, reducing the deficit to 5-4 and holding at love to level the score at 5-5.
The Italian claimed the fourth straight break to move 6-5 ahead but he couldn't serve out for the set, missing a forehand in the 12th game to set up a tie break. Schwartzman had a chance to clinch it at 7-6 and 8-7 but he lost the last two points on serve and Simone stole it when Diego's forehand landed long in the 18th point.
The Italian saved three break points at the start of the second set but Schwartzman did break him two games later to create the gap but Bolelli got it back after a huge error from Diego in the very next game. Bolelli grabbed another break in game six, outplaying the better-ranked opponent from the baseline once again and he sealed the deal in game nine when Schwartzman sent another forehand long to end his Bastad campaign much earlier than he expected. Second round results: