Nadal battles past Verdasco in Hamburg
Top seed Rafael Nadal came from a set deficit to beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the bet-at-home Open on Tuesday. In his first appearance in Hamburg since hoisting the trophy in 2008, the Mallorcan improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Verdasco to 14-2.
Nadal broke immediately for a 1-0 lead, but Verdasco held his nerve to break back. The World No. 41 applied pressure yet again in the sixth game, breaking the top seed for a 4-2 lead. Verdasco went on to clinch the opening set after 37 minutes, having hit 10 winners.
It took Nadal 12 minutes to hold serve in the opening game of the second set. The World No. 10 then struck first to break his compatriot, and then held to race to a 3-0 lead. Another break for Nadal put
him two games away from levelling the match. Verdasco’s first ace of the match <g data-gr-id="20">game</g> him a hold for 1-5, but Nadal would serve out the set at love.
Nadal earned a critical break in the decider for a 2-1 lead and saved all four break points he faced in the set to eventually clinch the victory and set a second-round clash with the winner of Jiri Vesely and Andreas Haider-Maurer.