Rafael Nadal Wary Of First Rounder Against Fernando Verdasco
by Tom Gainey | January 16th, 2016, 4:00 pm
  • 73 Comments

In the most compelling first round match of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will meet Fernando Verdasco in a rematch of their 2009 semifinal epic won by Rafa.

“Very tough first round,” Nadal said. “Not a lucky first round, I think, for me. For him either. Will be a tough match. I need to be ready to play a very good tennis if I want to be through.

“Obvious that that match gave me the chance to win the only Australian Open that I won. That was an unforgettable memory for me. I think was a huge level of tennis there. Some spectacular points. A lot of people always talk me about that match, no? I enjoyed that match. Was tough one. Was a great experience.”

Nadal leads 14-2 but Verdasco has won a set in their last three winning two at Miami last year and in 2012 Madrid. Nadal won their most recent match on the Hamburg clay.

The 2009 champ won’t have to face rival Novak Djokovic until the final, but commented on how well he’s playing.

“He’s an amazing player,” Nadal said. “Second good thing is he never has injuries, so that helps a lot to have full confidence on yourself, and to don’t lose the rhythm never.”

As for the courts, Nadal says they are not slow but rather on the faster side, or something like that.

“It’s not fast, not slow. It’s not unbelievable fast. But I think the outdoor courts, the outside courts are faster. I played in Margaret, Hisense and Rod Laver. The courts are not slow. A little bit faster. But okay, not bad. Good feelings.”

Nadal and Verdasco will meet Tuesday at the Australian Open.


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73 Comments for Rafael Nadal Wary Of First Rounder Against Fernando Verdasco

Okiegal Says:

That makes two of us…..I am also wary. When he played Rusty in that little Fast four or whatever it was….Rafa dumped a few shots into the net….he definitely was lacking a bit. I can not see him trying to play sucky on purpose…He missed some shots…I was perplexed. Didn’t know if he was serious or not.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Nice picture tennis-x anyway,definetly prefer Rafa with the shorter hair….


jane Says:

definitely prefer him with longer hair.
doubt this match will go beyond 3 sets but hotsauce does have some firepower


AndyMira Says:

Rafa’s right..definitely a tough match..while i’m sure novak will put out verdasco in 3 straight sets but with rafa..we’ll never know these days..he’ll like to complicate things that he shouldn’t complicate at all..verdasco maybe steal a set from him..


Chrisford1 Says:

Haven’t seen Verdasco play since last summer, but from what I saw back then, he has slipped as well from what he used to be. More than Rafa has slipped.
So I don’t see an upset.


Wog Boy Says:

Okie,

Rafa lost on purpose against Rusty, it was obvious. They wanted to have fun playing doubles and to make doubles decide the match, and to make sure twenty thousand people in Arena got their money well spent.
Rafa in easy three, just nice practice, nothing else.


Okiegal Says:

@Wog……Yeah, I see why anyone would think that……I too, wondered. But to purposefully miss shots would not be a good, sound practice in my books….I hate to see Rusty retire coz there are still some players out there he can still beat.


Wog Boy Says:

I think Hewitt planned it well, it is a time to retire, apart of that surprised win in Brisbane final two years ago against Roger he really didn’t have any results, why would former world #1 and two times GS winner drag himself around just to be beaten by virtually anybody. I wasn’t his fan but he has all my respect, now he can mentor Kyrgios (if that is possible), he is captain of DC team, channel 7 offered him to be their commentator, he has three kids and beautiful family….he doesn’t have to travel the globe any more and change beds every week, does he?


Wog Boy Says:

^^for Okie


Wog Boy Says:

I missed to say, in January he played tournament in every major city on his farewell tour Perth, Sydney, his beloved Adelaide, and will finish in Melbourne, for the twentieth time in his career he will play AO. You can’t really think about better way to say goodbye to active playing.


Okiegal Says:

Wog, I agree with everything you said, I will miss him, I loved his style of play…..but if think it is time for him, so be it!


Okiegal Says:

^^^but if he thinks….should say….


Michael Says:

For sure, meeting a player of the calibre of Verdasco who is vastly under rated is a big challenge. Rafa is right that he needs to produce his best to cross this major hurdle !!


AndyMira Says:

To Michael @ 1:43..agree with you..sure verdasco also dip in form right now..but the scary part is that all lesser player will raise their form drastically when their opponent on the other side is rafa nadal!Remember Tim Smyzek at AO last year?The famous win of Fabio Fognini at USO?And no wonder rafa is super wary about the meeting since he’s still vulnerable in every department!


danica Says:

Rafa and Dasco played on of the best AO matches in that semis in 2009. More than 5 hours, and it could have gone either way. Dasco is nowhere close to that level now but it is important to say that he put more work and hours in the off season than usual. He seems to be well prepared and ready to prove everyone wrong. He will be motivated to take Rafa out. Having said all that, and Rafa being aware of his friend’s worth, and being who he is, I don’t see him slipping and losing.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont see this match been a straight set foregone conclusion,Rafa lost to every Tom,Dick,and Harry last year even my next door neighbour,Nando isnt the player he was that year,but neither is Rafa,its a winnable match but also a losable one too,i certainly wont be taking anything for granted….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane sorry disagree about the long hair bit,he looks much smarter now….

Mat4 im still top….


AndyMira Says:

Hi GG,morning to you..why you always wake up early?It’s sunday right?Agree with you @ 5.22 am..rafa even lose to my cat the other day..as much as we love him,we have to guard our heart as well..


madmax Says:

I think you worry too much Rafa fans.

Rafa will beat Verdasco blindfolded.

Verdasco now is NOT the Verdasco of 2009. You could argue that too for Rafa, but he has been winning more recently and putting himself into the business end of tournaments more than ever before.

What has Verdasco been doing lately? If he is living on the success of 2009 (and remember, he still lost), then I think he will get a rude awakening.


Gypsy Gal Says:

AndyMira hi and good morning,not exactly early here in GB its 10.45am,but when im not working i do get up early anyway,and its a beautiful day here too ;)….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Madmax Rafa fans will be crucified if they big up his chances,and they will be crucified if they dont,damned if you dont,and damned if you do,Nando aint the player he was in 2009 but then again neither is Rafa,who is also a step slower, and is lately losing to everyone,and to add this isnt his best surface,so i wont be taking anything for granted,or taking this match lightly….


AndyMira Says:

Hi GG,10.45 already?Can i ask you?Where was here?


madmax Says:

It is always good to be wary of the opponent, never take things for granted Gypsy, but honestly?

Do you really think that Verdasco has more than half a chance?


Gypsy Gal Says:

AndyMira Great Britain,im off for a shower will chat some more in 20/30 minutes….


AndyMira Says:

GG,i know you’re British..i’m just curious which part of England you are in..


Gypsy Gal Says:

Norfolk,East Anglia,a place called Hunstanton….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Madmax i dont know about Nandos chances,i just prefer to remain caustious the naysayers will be here soon enough baying for blood….


danica Says:

Thank God for google images :) – some very beautiful coast you have there GG. I hope you enjoy nice walks every day :).


AndyMira Says:

GG,ok..then i can wish for man u to lose or at least draw with liverpool tonight..he!he!ok..it’s my turn to take a bath now..see ya..


Gypsy Gal Says:

AnyMira im a Liverpool fan so i hope for a win,Wogboy is and i believe Mat4 is too,enjoy your bath ;)….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Danica hi,Norfolk is a nice place,i have view of the beach and sea from my flat,there is a picture of me on the bracket challenge with it in the background on my balcony,every Christmas day we have a swim for charity and people dress in fancy dress,hundreds of people gather around to watch,as for me walking down there its very rare these days as im too busy with work ,and its too cold at the moment sadly….


AndyMira Says:

GG,sorry..my mistake..i’ll rephrase back ok..go get man u l’pool so they can’t catch up with Arsenal..


Gypsy Gal Says:

I will burst into song,can you hear the drums Fernando?there was something in the air that night,the stars were bright Fernando,they were lying there for you and me for liberty Fernando,by ABBA,god i wish could do links….


Gypsy Gal Says:

AndyMira i cant stand Arsenal or Man UTD,however i must admit to having a new found respect for Man City,and i will say i love the Liverpool/Man City matches which seem to be exciting matches to watch….


J-Kath Says:

If memory serves me right, Verdasco gave Murray a scare at Wimbledon in 2012….if “V” finds that level again, Rafa will have a fight…ultimately believe Rafa will still win –

conversely, a tough opener could actually benefit him by forcing him to find form.


Gypsy Gal Says:

J-Kath true except it was 2013 the year Murray won Wimbledon….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I like Nando,and i would root for him against almost any player, other than my favorites….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Same with Robredo,maybe its a Spanish thing?….


jalep Says:

Gypsy, just wanted to drop by and make sure you know you are on my mind – I care about you, understand you have a “Spanish thing” ;), and wish I could come over and show you how to post a link.

PS. Get your studies caught up! Have read you enough over the years to know you are one smart cookie.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jalep always nice to see you,and i care about you too,your a nice lady ;), anyway i will ask hubby to teach me how to do links at some point when hes less busy,as he does home care too,about the Spanish thing i think i also have an Italian thing,an Australian thing etc well i think you get the picture lol,definetly Spanish when it comes to tennis,and yeah must study more units to do,anyway enjoy the open CHEERS ;))….


Margot Says:

jalep:
Rz set up a challenge. You have 5 hours! Hope you make it.

http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketAussieOpenATP/TennisXposters/default.aspx


Gypsy Gal Says:

Thanks Jalep just love any Abba songs ;))….


jalep Says:

Gee thanks, Margot. I’ll see what I can do ;)

This is my favortie Abba, Gypsy. Waterloo, baby. Warning: it will stay in your head or make you dance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj_9CiNkkn4


Gypsy Gal Says:

lol Classic ABBA LOVE THEM THANKS JALEP ;))….


mat4 Says:

Hi, jalep.

I prefer this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HnOFwqpLRQ

I had a poster of ABBA (oh, come on, let’s say it: the gorgeous Agnetha and Anni-Frid) when I was a boy.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Mat4 had forgotten about that song very nice,most men i know say they had a thing for the ABBA ladies ;))….


jalep Says:

mat4,
The only ABBA I like is ultra cheery 70′s music.

But I liked A-Ha -very snappy tune…mtv days

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914


Gypsy Gal Says:

lOVED AHA and that song and video amazing….


jalep Says:

Did they do anything else, Gypsy? They were Scandinavian like Abba. But yeah, liked to watch that video a lot in the day.

Here’s another one getting us ready for Round One, AO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oqAU5VxFWs

and this catchy one – not sure if it was a one hit wonder but it’s the only tune I can remember from Jake Dillon and Wallflowers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oqAU5VxFWs


jalep Says:

Oops. 2nd link is the same as the first.
Here’s Jake

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzyfcys1aLM


jalep Says:

A fine way to pass 9 minutes. Best pure dance song of the 80′s? Ain’t Nobody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNNkqiqT-3w


jalep Says:

To J-Kath and Okie and anyone who has lost someone dear to them…particularly a father – but it rings true.

“If you don’t give up and don’t give in you may just be okay…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGDA0Hecw1k


Kimberly Says:

I’m so excited for this tournament!!!! At least the womens part for sure!


J-Kath Says:

Thanks GG – brain is doing odd things….can’t remember where I have put anything half an hour after putting it away carefully.

Thanks too Jalep….I joke with myself that Walter is already making his mark in the ether as this evening there was a whole new “Walter Presents” on TV. Too Whimsical – but it gave me a smile.

Enjoy the tennis.

To Margo – Got a bit annoyed by the articles on Roger advising the German youth “Z” on how to beat Andy…what a cheek!!!!!!!!!!!!


Michael Says:

Andymira@3.50 am,

With that “Wow” factor absent due to Rafa’s vulnerability of late, even lesser players are not afraid to take chances against him as they know the only way to win against him is to play brazen aggressive Tennis throwing caution to the wind. Verdasco is one such player who takes his chances off both the wings and so on his day, he can prove to be a very tough opponent.

But there is also a discerning possibility that he might wilt and become a non-starter too. So, the problem here is you do not know what to expect as Verdasco is a rather erratic and pretty unlucky player too despite his caliber of hitting some of the most breath taking shots I have seen from his racket flowing seamlessly !!


Michael Says:

I think emotionally and psychologically, Andy is not well prepared to play this edition of Australian Open. The prospect of becoming a Father any time soon has worked him up and to an extent diverted his concentration from the sport and this play spoiler at the Australian Open.


AndyMira Says:

To Michael @ 12:29..it seems we have a same opinion about rafa vs verdasco tomorrow..we will soon enough know whether our theory will prove right or wrong..i just hope rafa have the tendency to shorten the match due to the extreme hot weather out there..he needs to save the energy as much as he can knowing there’s plenty of giants awaits for him..


Sarah Says:

@ Yes Mat 4, I have seen the results…Was not a wise choice from me with Paire….I


AndyMira Says:

Well..personally i think rafa deserved to lose..his game too predictable..not aggressive enough..he kept sending the ball to his opponent..not looking to make winners at all..this clearly will make him drowning more deeper in the hole that he himself created..what else we expect from him..


Pauly Says:

No one listened to me … Nadal has lost stamina !
He lost 6 games in a row from 2-0 up in final set ?
Stamina ? His serve let him down & too all the people who said I was wrong to suggest he Retire !
What do you people say now ?
He’s finished … Even on clay he is finished !
New coach must be appointed ASAP


AndyMira Says:

After the match..he looks so dejected..and tired..while verdasco looks like he could go another 5 sets!After this shocking loss,if rafa still didn’t do anything drastically to change his game or find a new method or ideas..we as his fan don’t have a right to expect anything from him other than loss!and more loss..sorry..that’s the truth..


Pauly Says:

AndyMira

Well said … Everything you wrote is correct !


AndyMira Says:

To Pauly @3:35..sadly yes..but unfortunately he’s too stubborn to realize that..i wonder what he will do after this..i feel so frustrated because he wasted so much time doing nothing to prevent this from happening..a year has gone by and the result is still the same..any sane person will take action immediately as soon as he showed anxiety and lack of confidence last year but not uncle toni..what happen to rafa now is part his fault as much as rafa for being so stubborn..


Pauly Says:

AndyMira

Verdasco even admitted that Nadal started playing less strongly in the 4th set … So that gave him the chance to come forward & attack !
Verdasco is talented … Just go back to 2009 where he pushed Nadal in 5 sets but that was a different Nadal back then !

Today’s Nadal is no where as energetic nor fast .
But I feel after this loss Nadal must get help !


Okiegal Says:

Nando looked at times that he was on his last legs but he kept coming and coming at Rafa stronger and stronger. I don’t know how he kept it up. The longer the match went the better he got.


Pauly Says:

Maybe us fans need to finally come to terms with reality & finally admit Nadal’s time at the top is over
I feel that he might never win another grand slam tournament
This is the reality … It’s sad but what can we the fans do to help him ?
He’s stubborn as a mule … Uncle Toni must stand aside & let someone else come in with new ideas !
Looking back at the height of Nadal’s powers in 2013 US open hardcourt season where he was unbeaten & comparing with his form now ?
It’s like comparing a race horse & a donkey ?
No comparison the race horse would win every race !

Looking back after 2013 … It was the final of the Australian open vs Wawrinka which in my opinion ruined Nadal’s year
That back injury really hampered him & how he managed to win the French open that year is still a puzzle ?
After that win … He lost at Wimbledon then injured his wrist plus appendix !
How unlucky can get ?

Those factors have been responsible for Nadal’s decline !
However getting a super coach would still help him improve his game even in 2016
I feel sadly he might never win another slam in my opinion


Tennisfan Says:

@Pauly

You don’t think age is the biggest factor of his decline? People were saying for years that Nadal won’t be able to sustain his type of play in the long term.


Pauly Says:

TennisFan

Good logic his body can’t handle the way he plays !
But wouldn’t a new coach change some things ?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Age is the biggest factor when it comes to decline,not only in tennis but any sports,and jobs come to think of it,hubby has said to me he cant rush about the same way he did 10 years ago,David Beckham played a football match for charity and said im too old for this now lol….


AndyMira Says:

To Pauly @ 4.27am,even when the match not started yet..everybody predicted that rafa will win..if not straight sets then 4 sets..after he won 3sets,he should be more aggresive..change tactics a little bit..pound the ball left right to make verdasco run more,make him unbalance..put more pressure on him on what cost..but more disappointment he didn’t do anything to trouble dasco..that’s why dasco can make winners sky high..rafa let him dictate the play not the other way around..i think the bottom line is rafa don’t have an idea what to do anymore..uncle toni don’t prepare him anything new other than old weapon who clearly not working anymore..he should use the off season create something worthy not gallivanting around the globe doing IPTL..now he pay the price..


Pauly Says:

AndyMira

Once again great post !
Verdasco even said it ” Nadal started playing not so strong in the 4th set ” !
Enough said … Uncle Toni please step Aside !
Time for someone to come … Your nephew needs help


AndyMira Says:

Hey Pauly..i wish very much that rafa or someone from his team listen to us..it’s still not too late..even Manolo Santana still believe in him..what’s weird is rafa himself acknowledged in his press con that he didn’t aggressive enough..he acknowledged it and couldn’t do it!Now..that’s scary..we’ve heard this since last year right?If that’s not alarming enough i don’t know what..

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