Fernando Verdasco vs. Andy Murray
|Date & Time||Friday September 28, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Shenzhen Open.
Andy Murray is coming off a straight sets win over David Goffin that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Murray won 70 percent of his first serve points and 33 percent of his second serve points. Murray won 56 percent of his total service points and saved seven of his 10 break points. Murray clearly still isn’t himself since returning from injury, but he did hit 15 aces and was sharp with his return against a borderline top-10 player in the world. While it hasn’t been completely pretty, those type of performances inch Murray closer to being the player he was a couple of years ago. Murray has a chance to win three matches in a single tournament for the second time in his last four tries. Murray has split his last six matches on hard court.
Fernando Verdasco is coming off a three sets win over Taro Daniel that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Verdasco won 85 percent of his first serve points and 52 percent of his second serve points. Verdasco won 74 percent of his total service points and hit 12 aces in his victory. Verdasco struggled with his serve at the US Open, but he’s winning 70-plus percent of his points through two matches here, so he’s clearly found his form and doesn’t look like the player who just lost five of his last eight matches. If this is the Verdasco we’re going to get the rest of the way, he’s a serious threat to end his title drought. Verdasco has a chance to win three matches in a single tournament for the first time since Bastad. Verdasco has won four of his last five matches on hard court.
These two have played 15 times and Murray has won 13 of those matches. The most recent meeting was in this years US Open, a match Verdasco won in four sets. The other time Verdasco beat Murray was in the 2009 Australian Open. Murray is 10-2 against Verdasco on hard court.
Murray is still trying to find his footing and is still very shaky with his serve, which isn’t what you want to see when going up against a quality player such as Verdasco. While the defensive effort and fighting spirit are still there, Murray gives away points he’s not used to giving up and isn’t finishing his opponents with the consistency we’re used to seeing. Until Murray gets closer to being what he was before his injury, he’s going to have a hard time winning these type of matches.
I’ll side with Verdasco.