Nadal Victorious In Emotional Match

BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells

[CR5] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR65] Fernando Verdasco (ESP)

They are close friends and they play together in doubles as a team. It is very hard to compartmentalize your emotional involvement with an opponent when you are on the tennis court; very few players have been able to do so well.  The killer instinct gets blunted when you have a vested interest in the person across the net.  The first set was a very strange affair as the score indicated.  I am not sure what happened to Verdasco in the first set, he was out of sorts.  As much as I would like to say that Nadal played brilliant tennis, it was more a case of Verdasco playing horribly.  The second was more what I expected from Verdasco, challenging Nadal right to the very end.  They traded breaks in the second and no one seemed capable of consolidating their lead.

It was a toss-up whether Nadal would win the second set and the match or Verdasco would force a decider.  I sat watching, curious to see if Nadal would step up to the challenge.  Verdasco got off to a dominant start in the tiebreak and looked like he would force a third set; however, Nadal clawed his way back into the tiebreak and had set/match point, which got erased with an ace from Verdasco.  Nadal made the ultimate error, he double faulted to give Verdasco another opportunity to win the set; yet, neither player seemed willing to take the set, Verdasco would double-fault as well.  Both were tentative on their respective set points.  Nadal threw in a very shaky final serve, which Verdasco completely mistimed to finally give the set/match to Nadal, 6-0, 7-6(9).  I would like to think this means that Nadal is on his way back; however, I am not quite as convinced.  He will be tested in his next match by our spotlight player, Alexander Zverev; perhaps then I will get a better assessment of his current game.


  1. I totally agree. Today I saw a little more spring in his step than in the past few months but, as much as I’d like it to be, I’m not convinced either that this is a turning point. We shall see.

  2. Today’s match was indeed refreshing – considering Nadal is one of my favorite players. I, on the other hand, believe that this is the beginning of what’s to come. I saw a combination of Nadal putting forth great effort and his opponent not playing his best. This is probably exactly what Nadal needs to give him confidence. I predict more wins in his future.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.