Rafael Nadal vs. Fernando Verdasco
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 31, 2018, 5:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Fernando Verdasco and Rafael Nadal meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Paris Masters.
Fernando Verdasco is coming off a straight sets win over Jeremy Chardy that took 20 games to decide. In the victory, Verdasco won 74 percent of his first serve points and 63 percent of his second serve points. Verdasco won 69 percent of his total service points and converted on three of his nine break points. Verdasco has really been serving well the last couple of weeks, and he gives himself a real chance at the upset if it continues, especially the aces in key spots. Six of Verdasco’s last nine completed matches have been decided in three sets. Verdasco has 27 career wins over top-10 players and three of those have come this year. Verdasco has won five of his last seven matches on indoor hard court.
Rafael Nadal will play his first match since losing in the semifinals of the US Open, a match he had to retire from after dealing with an injury to his knee. Nadal has won 15 of his last 17 matches, so you can argue he’s the hottest player in the tournament, but there’s also clear question marks about the leg and possible rust. While we know Nadal wasn’t just sitting around on his couch, he hasn’t played a competitive match since early September, so it’s fair to raise some eyebrows here. It will be interesting to watch the first few games from Nadal and see if he’s able to pick right back up where he left off a couple of months ago. Nadal has split his last four matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played 20 matches and Nadal has won 17 of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Indian Wells, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Verdasco hasn’t beaten Nadal since the 2016 Australian Open. Five of the last seven meetings have gone the distance.
The lack of recent playing time for Nadal makes Verdasco a live dog here. I wouldn’t talk you off the ledge if trying to place a wager on Verdasco as a value play. However, Nadal has owned Verdasco over the years and is even capable of beating him at 75 percent or so. It’s no secret Verdasco does have issues against top tier players and often folds like a beach chair once getting behind.
Questions and all, I’m backing Nadal.