It’s that time of the year again. Paris is the final Masters event of the year which means London is days away and we get to see players enter the court via a crystal maze type doorway.
On Wednesday Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco will be taking that walk down the tunnel to centre court but who will be victorious?
History is on the side of the British number one who is chasing history himself as becoming world number one is a possibility this week. Andy and Fernando have met twelve times since 2007 with Andy winning 11 of their meetings! They always seem to meet at the big stage having played at a number of Masters events including Paris in the past and three of the four Grand Slams.
Keep him off the forehand
I would love to see Fernando Verdasco play live one day. His forehand and footwork is perfect at times and we’ve seen it throughout his career, the forehand is the big weapon and Andy has done so well stopping him from gathering momentum off this shot.
Roll back to 2013 Wimbledon when these two met and you can see below the forehand in action early on.
Majority of the time when he backs up into that backhand corner he is looking for that forehand cross court. His body is leaning into the ball and his left arm you can see him lining up that cross court option if he were going to go down the line you’d expect a maybe less of a swing.
Annoying above you can’t see Andy’s feet but he is essentially playing a game of stuck in the mud. He can’t commit to down the line or cross court as he will be picked off and again we see that left arm lining up but because of his positioning on the court you can’t gurantee he will go cross court as positionally he couldn’t be in a better position right now and that footwork has helped him get this position and he managed to reel off the forehand winner cross court with Murray not standing a chance.
What Andy has done so well in their previous meetings is keep the ball moving side to side, once you slice into that backhand corner of Fernando you are setting him up for that forehand but Murray has mixed it up so well in the past with the powerful two handed backhand forcing Fernando to defend using the forehand instead of attack.
I do think Fernando could cause problems for Andy who has had such a long few weeks but I fully expect the world number two to cement his place in the next round over two sets.