Verdasco stuns Nadal; Djokovic, Federer win

Madrid Open
By Rajesh Srinivasan, May 11th, 2012

Thursday saw a major upset with Nadal crashing out to Fernando Verdasco at Madrid. Second seed Rafael Nadal saw his 22 match winning streak on clay end against fellow Spaniard Verdasco 3-6, 6-3, 5-7 in three hours and 10 minutes. His last loss had come at Rome against Djokovic in last year’s final.

Fernando Verdasco stuns Rafael Nadal at Madrid Open 2012

Nadal was not at his best making a slow start and dropped his serve and going down 2-0 first set. He fought back to 2-2 but again lost serve to 2-4. Verdasco had lost all his previous 13 meetings against Nadal. In the second set Nadal fought back to win 6-3 and then seemed to be in control leading 5-2 in the deciding set. Serving for the match at 15-0, Nadal missed an easy smash and then went on to lose serve. What followed was a strange sight- Nadal missing easy ground strokes and Verdasco striking the ball with authority past Nadal. Verdasco completed amazing comeback winning five consecutive games to win the match on second match point.

Nadal said that he did not adapt his game to the slippery court, was in control of match but could not close it out. Verdasco played better and won. However Nadal said that he may not play the tournament next year if the conditions were not changed for the better.

Federer had no such problems cruising past 14th seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in 58 minutes. Federer got an early break to lead 3-1 and maintained that top close out the set in 27 minutes.

Djokovic beat Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(5), 6-4. Wawrinka played well to save five set points in the first set at 4-5 with some wonderful winners but then could not carry forward the momentum losing the tie breaker that followed. Djokovic who took a 5-2 lead in the second set was broken while serving for match. However he won through on the second occasion with the help of three big serves.

David Ferrer saved 3 match points in beating Nicolas Almagro 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(8) to maintain a perfect 10-0 record against his countryman. In other matches Del Potro and Berdych went through in straight sets.


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