Rafa Roundup: Nadal pleased to beat Verdasco in Hamburg

El tenista español Rafael Nadal celebra su victoria ante su compatriota, Fernando Verdasco, durante el partido de primera ronda del torneo de Hamburgo, Alemania, hoy, 28 de julio de 2015. EFE/Daniel Bockwoldt
Photo: EFE/Daniel Bockwoldt

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The sound of rain pelting off the retractable roof and the sight of Fernando Verdasco pounding his forehand into the corners conspired against Rafael Nadal. Down a set and facing three break points, the King of Clay was pushed around like an intruder for the first 45 minutes today.

Struggle still rouses Rafa into action.

The top seed tugged on his wrist band, dug in with determination and reclaimed control of a familiar rival. Sluggish at the start, Nadal revved up the depth and pace of his shots powering through 12 of the last 14 games in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Verdasco in his Hamburg opener.

“It’s a very important victory,” said Nadal. “For my mentality, it is important to finish the match better than how I started. To be able to make that change during the match was a very positive thing to me. I’m just happy [with] the way I came back.”

Después de ceder el primer set y salvar tres bolas de ruptura en el primer juego del segundo, enderezó el servicio y en lugar de recular, dio un paso al frente. A partir de ahí, los golpes de Verdasco perdieron fuelle y el balear reafirmó los suyos. Penalizó los segundos servicios del 41 del mundo (59% de puntos ganados con segundos saques, frente a un 35%), salvó siete de las nueve opciones de ruptura (78%) que tuvo en su contra y aprovechó seis de las 11 (55%) que dispuso. Argumentos suficientes para resolver los dos últimos parciales y citarse en la siguiente fase con el checo Jiri Vesely (45 en la ATP) o el austriaco Andreas Haider-Maurer (58).

Nadal, the top seed whose last appearance in the event was when he won the title in 2008, was playing his first match since his surprise second-round defeat against Dustin Brown at Wimbledon.

The world No 10 found it tough going initially – in a match played under the court’s canvas cover because of rain – as he appeared to have trouble adjusting to clay and finding his timing. His last appearance on clay was defeat by Novak Djokovic in their French Open quarter-final.

Rafael Nadal, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles, will be in Manila to spice up the second International Premier Tennis League leg at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Nadal is coming to play,” said Clementine Apacible, project lead of the IPTL Manila leg, during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Fernando Verdasco in Hamburg opener

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8 thoughts on “Rafa Roundup: Nadal pleased to beat Verdasco in Hamburg

  1. Move In Rafa Or Move On

    Because he began play on Tuesday instead of Monday, Rafa will have to play 4 days in a row – Thursday to Sunday – to win this tournament. This could have easily been avoided had Uncle Toni “requested” an earlier start for his boss, who has clearly stated in the past that he prefers NOT to play matches on back-to-back days.

    This is a recurring theme for Rafa – playing his first round match on the 2nd or 3rd day of the tournament – that occurs far more often for him than it does for Djokovic, Federer, Murray, and other top players. This disadvantage becomes even more problematic if his matches are long ones, or are delayed due to rain.

    The Hamburg stadium has a roof, but most other tennis stadiums do not. If Rafa had a REAL coach instead of his uncle assisting him, he would begin play each tournament on the earliest day possible much more frequently than he has over the years. And he probably would have won more tournaments – including slams – as a result.

    Get a new coach, damn it! VAMOS!!!

    Like

  2. Arawak Chat

    Congrats Rafa; keep the momentum going. I’m watching an encore presentation of your match right now…..Way to go Rafa.

    Like

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