Verdasco Stunned By 17-Year-Old Rublev In Barcelona; Nadal Seeks Revenge On Almagro
by Staff | April 21st, 2015, 5:38 pm
  • 63 Comments

Just a month after beating Rafael Nadal in Miami, Fernando Verdasco was stunned today in Barcelona by 17-year-old qualifier Andrey Rublev 7-6(4), 6-3 in the opening round. It was the young Russian’s biggest career win, and fifth of his career on the ATP tour.

The No. 329-ranked Rublev moves on to face Fabio Fognini tomorrow. Rublev won the 2014 French Open juniors.

Verdasco won the Barcelona title in 2010.

Defending champion Kei Nishikori began his clay season in good form with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

“I played a good two sets today,” said Nishikori. “It wasn’t easy for my first match on clay this year, but I served great. It’s always special to come back and defend the title here, where there is such great facilities.”

Tomorrow, 8-time champion Rafael Nadal returns to face countryman Nicolas Almagro. Almagro beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of Barcelona last year.

“Almagro is a great player and always a dangerous opponent,” said Nadal Monday. “I have to try to find my way, but it will be difficult against Nico.”

In an all-teen battle, Nick Kyrgios faces fellow 19-year-old Elias Ymer of Sweden.

Marin Cilic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also in action Wednesday in Barcelona.


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63 Comments for Verdasco Stunned By 17-Year-Old Rublev In Barcelona; Nadal Seeks Revenge On Almagro

jalep Says:

Ahh, tears of joy. what a moment for his mom. Congrats to Andrey Rublev. Will be interesting to watch how he does vs Fognini.


Wog Boy Says:

He looks so fragile and skinny, but was hitting the ball prety well. Good luck Andrey, is he about to join Kokkinakis, Kyrgios, Coric club? He is still 17!


jane Says:

that’s crazy indeed; nice win for him over hotsauce. i didn’t see it. who does he face next?


Giles Says:

The youngster Rublev went to Manacor last year to train with Rafa.


Hippy Chick Says:

Tennis-x you need to delete one of these threads,you have the exact same one up twice….


Hippy Chick Says:

Nice scenes of Rafa and Kei playing mini tennis together,and nice to see him training with the youngsters of the game like Rublev and Coric who says Rafa is his tennis hero i believe?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Aww so cute a couple of fans watching Rafa,and the guy proposes to his girlfriend who says yes :))….


jalep Says:

@jane. Rublev is playing the great Fabio Fognini next. Match starts soon but doubt it will be televised…or probably it will be somewhere but not here in the US.

Watchang Rafa vs Almagro. Rafa took the first set 63. Nico is playing good tennis. I like watching him but Rafa has got this, I think. Few errors creeping in but…


Hippy Chick Says:

Nice picture of Nando,he has a nice smile ;)….


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep Nico is missing alot,i just hope Rafa plays himself into form this week,Rafa is missing alot of BPs lately which is worrying and unusual….


jalep Says:

@Hippy Chick. Yeah Nico is no match for Rafa today even though Rafa doesn’t look at his best. I can see why you are worried. But I’ll be surprised if anyone can stop him from winning Barcelona. Ferrer and Kei are his strongest competition. Kei is very rusty. Cilic got kicked out by Estrella today!


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep hes having trouble closing matches out now too….


Hippy Chick Says:

Jeez finally….


jalep Says:

Following up on young gun action: Swede Elias Ymer.beat Kyrgios. 57 60 63.

And Borna.Coric is in a tough test playing Karlovic. Coric took the first set. Karlovic the 2nd. 63 36


jane Says:

i hope coric can come through.


jalep Says:

If I was a Rafa fan, I’d be worried too but Rafa still has time before FO. The main thing for a Rafa fan is defending that, right? There are reasons explained by Pronin on another thread here why Chartrier suits him there that’s Rafa’s turf till proven otherwise.

I like the Slovak player Klizan and he had a nice win over Monaco in Barcelona 57 60 63.


jalep Says:

Sorry @jane. Coric just lost the decider 46. Never easy beating Dr.Ivo. at least Borna got a set.


skeezer Says:

Nico had 9 BP, and converted……….1.


Markus Says:

Never liked that Coric kid after that “when I play well, I’m like Djokovic. When I play poorly, I’m like Murray” comment (not exact words). I think Iike players based on how well they play + good manners.


Giles Says:

So, The Kid lost to world #192. Clay probably not his surface.


Okiegal Says:

@Markus

I’m a fool for good manners too….and he ain’t nothing like Novak. Granted he beat Rafa, but he failed to back it up. These young guys come out and feel like they have nothing to lose and go for broke! Sometimes it works. A crappy shot here or there in a tight match, and boom baby it can be over. In a nutshell, these players are not consistent enough to be a serious threat atm imho! Oh yeah, the Murray remark was downright tacky!!


jane Says:

ah, too bad jalep. but yes, never easy.

markus, of course it’s totally up to you what you think, but just thought i’d mention that coric clarified that statement (plus he’s only 18, still learning the ropes):

“Dear fans,
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a statement in an interview I gave for The Times of India while playing in Chennai.
Some of my quotes were misinterpreted.
First, regarding “the best in my generation”, in and around my age group we are so lucky to have a cluster of super talented contemporaries who have most definitely pushed each and everyone of us to become better over the years. We all have a healthy rivalry. As it happens at this specific moment I have the best ranking of all the players my age but as we know in tennis that could change in 1 week as it did on many occasions between us last year. I respect all of them. Nothing is for certain in this sport and I respect each and everyone of them.
Secondly, my comparison with some of the best players in the world was taken out of context. All I wanted to say is that I am naturally a defensive player. In order to be better, I need to work on being aggressive as much as possible. In this statement they were supposed to use as examples, but I was not quoted the way I wanted. I utterly respect players who are amongst the best of our era and multiple Grand Slam champions and I in no way meant to be disrespectful in anyway.”


Okiegal Says:

Rafa having trouble closing it out. I thought that last game would go on 4ever!!


jane Says:

jalep, yes klizan has a lot of flare.


Margot Says:

Andy’s been misrepresented so many times by the media, I’d certainly give Coric the benefit of the doubt.


Okiegal Says:

These young guys can get a little cocky after some good unexpected wins, but sorry, Margot, the Murray remark was unwarranted. The best thing that could happen to him would be for Andy to give him a good schooling…..early in his career!! Humble him a bit….


jane Says:

margot, indeed: has andy ever lived down the soccer/football comment?! :O


Markus Says:

@jane:

Yes, Coric did expound on and explained his comment but that was after the fact. Maybe somebody told him that it sounded tacky. Hopefully, he has learned from it and will be more careful with his words. So, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But Coric has been losing very early in many tournaments since then, so he isn’t really somebody to talk about for now.


jalep Says:

I give Borna.Coric the benefit of doubt. He was respectful after beating Murray in Dubai. Respectful after beating Rafa in Basel. He was 17 in Basel-give him a break! For goodness sake. Following up his win over Murray in Dubai he had to play Federer, who went on to win the tournament over Nole!


jalep Says:

Right now vs Fognini, they have split the 1st 2 sets and on serve in the decider. But I’m only able to follow scores on tennis.com.


jane Says:

foggy is ahead of rublev now, in the deciding set, based on the ATP site jalep. foggy’s up 4-1 with rublev serving, so i guess it’s just one break at the moment.


jalep Says:

^ talking about Rublev vs Fognini.

When Andrey shook hands with Verdasco at net yesterday, Andrey looks to be at least the same height, which surprised me.


jalep Says:

Thanks jane. Fognini is a great clay court player when in the mood for it ;)


jalep Says:

In the match vs Verdasco, Rublev had cramps in the 2nd set when closing out his win.

I see in the 3rd set vs Fognini, Andrey could could only manage 1 game. He’ll need to work on his fitness, I think.


Hippy Chick Says:

Whats with Gulbis these days,has he even won a game this year,i see nothing to suggest he will be the next big thing in tennis that some pundits were predicting,other than last years win over RF at RG last year,what on earth has he done since?….


mat4 Says:

Gulbis has done the same thing I’d do “if I were a rich man”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSSxIJGkPQ


aienna Says:

gulbis? gulbis? gulbis schmuldis… Whats with Cilic?


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 just about sums him up,somehow i cant take Gulbis seriously as a tennis player,sorry to anyone thats a fan of his,i just think hes a bit of a twerp/jerk….


jalep Says:

Gulbis lost to Paire today. Paire is quite a talented Frenchie. Love watching him. Benoit Paire was injured last year, so he fell in rankings. He’s an emotional player, I forget how old. Doubt he will be top 10 but, if I recall, he was inside top 20 or close.

Gulbis seemed committed and motivated until he got his big win over Federer last year. And that was enough for him for the rest of the year. He’ll drop so far down in the rankings soon that he’ll have to play in challenger tournaments and qualifiers to get into atp main draws. I’d wager he will quit tennis.@ Hippy Chick


aienna Says:

quarter/semi/final USOPEN 2014 never did a single player performed better tennis then that.

out of this world. better then TMF himself. He had no flaws weaknesses organisatie bad spells. He took those matches like he sold his soul to the devil.

so whats up with him. Dude come on. I cannot and will not believe that he cannot get that level again.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep yeah indeed Paire is very talented the French guys all seem to be,unlike Joe and Gael though i find him and his persona a little bland,i admit i havent watched him much,but i wish he had more personality….


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep i dont usually like to push players into retirement,TBH it irritates the hell out of me as its all i ever hear whenever Rafa gets injured he will retire this year,next year yada yada,hell posters even said it when he was number 1 and had won 3 GS in a year,they say it now even though hes still in the top 4,but with Gulbis hes losing in the first round over and over again in tournies….


Hippy Chick Says:

aienna are you Sienna with a first name spelling mistake?….


jalep Says:

There is absolutely no comparison between Rafa and Gulbis!

Gulbis is inconsistent and mostly unmotivated with sporadic moments of brilliance and talent for tennis. Could be top 10 and beat almost anyone if desire and work ethic are switched on. But don’t count on it. Plus he isn’t getting any younger. Plus when he loses his points from FO semifinal 2014, he’ll drop like a rock. He’s said he’s sick of making such ‘comebacks’ early in 2014 and he actually did well. But he went right back to slash king and split with the coach he shared with Dominic Thiem. I see no reason to back him or even pay this much attention to him on a tennis forum.

Quite the opposite of Rafa.


jalep Says:

Slash king ….lol

That was supposed to read as slacking.

Hahaha


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep exactly,but the thing i was alluding to was the way posters seem to want to push Rafa off to the retirement home,which is something they never do with any other player,never Gulbis,Delpo,Roger etc,yet Rafa it gets mentioned every year,no mstter where hes ranked,or how well hes playing,he could be ranked 100 or 1,he could win everything and all 4 GS in a year,yet people would say the exact same thing,and i dont know why?….


Hippy Chick Says:

^Sorry no matter damn typos^….


jane Says:

jalep i like slash king!! i thought it was some new thing i’d not heard of before… and methinks it suits ernests. :) ha ha.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep Mat4s Fiddler On The Roof link singing if i were a rich man summed up Gulbis perfectly lol….


jalep Says:

Not sure where to start with a reply Hippy Chick.

Both Delpo and Federer have been written off often and at times over the recent years. Rafa gets that too.

Maybe it feels especially accentuated during clay season and because you are a staunch defender which normal as a Rafa fan. So the comments are especially irritating and annoying since many, including myself would like to see a new FO winner. Nothing personal about Rafa or against Rafa fans.

Rafa isn’t done winng, breaking records, or improving his tennis to remain at other near the very top. He’s healthier now than he was when having all his knee problems.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep i think you missed my point,its the retirement talk i get annoyed with,its fair enough that none Rafa fans want a different FO champion,its natural Novak fans want it to be him,its natural Rafa fans want it to be him again,and im not arrogant enough to expect it to be him every year either,just a thought though what if niether of them win it,niether has a god given right?….


jalep Says:

Hippy Chick I have not paid aNY attention to or if there are currently posters talking of Rafa’s retirement. I’don’t ignore the post if I read that. And consider it trolling.

As to your other question, my hope is that Nole gets his FO, preferably this year or next. But if someone else wins it (can’t imagine anyone but Rafa or Nole) I’ll first be shocked and second be delighted. Like I was last year for Wawrinka and for Cilic.

Just try to imagine Murphy winning FO, or Ferrer, or even, the much maligned Berdych


jalep Says:

Meant to read: I’d ignore the post…


jalep Says:

Sure will be relieved when my laptop is back and repaired! I hate auto correct.


Wog Boy Says:

“Just try to imagine Murphy winning FO, or Ferrer, or even, the much maligned Berdych”
Yalep, let us not try to imagine, let us stick with Nole for time being please and leave Wimbledon or USO to imagine ;)


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “jalep” not “Yalep”, sorry:(


mat4 Says:

@HC:

What? Rafa has retired? When? Before the FO, I hope?

He can always make a comeback after Roland Garros…


jalep Says:

Yes sir, Wog.Boy. However I hesitate to speculate out loud about who will win it. I’m certainly imagining what you are…I think.

Jalep is short for jalapeño. Nickname for Simona.Halep. if that helps ;)


jalep Says:

Hahaha. ..mat4. Very funny. Perfect song and video for the Gulbis subject.


Wog Boy Says:

jalep, nice to hear that you like Simona, that makes two of us, I do like her very much, she just got under my skin, I wish she wins her maiden slam this year.


jalep Says:

Oh, I do too – hope Simona wins a GS. She’s adorable and a great fighter. Just love watching her. She’s a clever player.

She found a way to win vs Muguruza. She won the 2nd round match 36 61 63. But was holding a thigh and bending over during the 1st set she lost. Whatever it was seemed to improve. Not sure what was going on.


jalep Says:

^ in Stuttgart today.


Margot Says:

jalep I saw Paire and another play doubles at Queens a couple of years ago. They were playing a British pair so naturally we were shouting and cheering very loudly for them. You can get very close at Queens, so Paire kind of noticed…;) We kept getting the Gallic raised eyebrow, the Gallic look and the Gallic ironic smile. So we cheered even louder. Gr8 fun!
Am right with you in the Halep fan club. She is a fighter. hits the ball so hard for such a smallish, in tennis terms, person and moves so well too. She will win many slams, providing she stays injury free.

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