For the 17th time in their careers Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco will meet on the tour. Nadal once led the head to head at 13-0 against his fellow countryman however Verdasco has won two of their last three meetings including in Miami last year.
The two have history in Melbourne they played each other in the semi-finals back in 2009 which Nadal won 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-7 6-4 and with the former world number one’s uncertain form over the last year or so you just don’t know what to expect.
Expect the unexpected. We certainly got that in Miami last year. It was a good match between the two players but I found it so bizarre as well. No one really took control for a sustained amount of time in the match and in late in the second set which Nadal dominated it did look like he may go on and run to finish line but the momentum of the match switched once again!
It was the battle of the forehands in Miami and Verdasco during the course of the match was more consistent which does highlight Nadal’s problem since winning Roland Garros in 2014. He still produces some incredible forehands during matches but there isn’t much consistency behind it.
What I have put together isn’t 100% accurate but are just some examples of wild forehands from Nadal in this match against Verdasco. They were going long, wide and then he’d produce a stunner up the line!
I thought Nadal actually played well against Novak in Doha final not long ago but was thrashed 6-1 6-2 which shows the difference between the two. I do think Nadal will get over the line in this one but I’m not sure how far the 2009 champion will go this year!