By Clare Fallon
LONDON, June 25 Fourth seed David Ferrer was tested by Martin Alund, a man who had never previously played an ATP Tour match on grass, before winning through to the second round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Spaniard Ferrer, who took two heavy falls on the slippery Centre Court grass, won 6-1 4-6 7-5 6-2 in two hours nine minutes and then shrugged off questions about the tumbles.
This year's French open finalist said his left ankle was slightly swollen and painful but he expected to be in perfect condition by his next match.
His falls, in the second and fourth sets, certainly looked dramatic. On the second occasion he cried out in pain before limping back to receive serve, but the ill-effects were short-lived and he went on to break Argentine Alund for a 4-1 lead.
Alund, a clay specialist whose grass-court experience amounts to little more than two qualifying matches at Eastbourne last week, gave Ferrer a hard time in the middle two sets and was helped to a break in the second by two double faults.
Ferrer, however, got back on top in the final set, winning three successive games to love to go 3-1 up.
The Spaniard, a quarter-finalist here last year, hit four aces in his final two service games, including one to finish off the victory with a flourish.
Ferrer, who will now play compatriot Roberto Bautista, said he planned to put ice on his ankle but was not worried about it.
"It's a little bit swollen but I think it's not important - I hope," he told reporters. "After tomorrow I will play 100 (percent) of my condition and if I win, perfect. If I lose, it's going to be because my opponent, he was better than me.
"I can walk, I know it's not important," he added. "I have a little bit of pain in my ankle but it's okay." (Editing by Ken Ferris)