Fog fury for Fernando as Lopez marches on

Fernando Verdasco
Fernando Verdasco

World number 58 Fernando Verdasco criticised the ATP for favouring higher-ranked players after his exit from the Aegon International on a fog-shrouded centre court on Thursday.

The Spaniard crashed out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage to compatriot Feliciano Lopez and later complained, saying, “If I was Rafael Nadal, I can say ‘I don’t play’ and I’m pretty sure the ATP will say ‘okay, we wait till the court is good’. But because I’m not Nadal or Federer or any of those guys, I need to do what the ATP wants.

“If I said ‘I go’, the tournament will not say ‘we wait’. Then I will get a fine from the ATP because I didn’t want to play in the bad conditions. I told the umpire the court was slippery. If somebody gets hurt, who is responsible for this?”

Lopez, who has yet to drop a set all tournament, booked his place in the semi-finals and a meeting with Croatian Ivan Dodig, who knocked out Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals.

The Italian was one of just three seeded men to make it through to the final eight - 2011 champ Andreas Seppi and number two seed Gilles Simon completed the trio. Dodig has already completed the scalp of top seed Milos Raonic in the second-round.

Julian Benneteau got the better of fifth seed Kevin Anderson before himself being knocked out by rising Australian star Bernard Tomic on Wednesday. Tomic was also responsible for the first-round exit of Brit James Ward.