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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