Friday, May 15, 2009

Verdasco says "faith is there" ahead of Nadal clash

Photo credit: AFP/Getty

In front of a packed Manolo Santana Stadium, initially intended for Rafael Nadal (who got a walkover after Kohlshcreiber withrdrew), Fernando Verdasco impressed his home crowd as he overcame a resurgent Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2, in the Madrid Open third round, to set up a highly anticipated quarterfinal against top-seeded Nadal.

"I came out with a role that's supposed to be for Rafa. So for me it was unbelievable to play with a stadium like this full."

"The atmosphere was amazing to play here in madrid with 12000 people it's unbelievable its a dream. Am so happy today, one of the happiest days of my life... All my family is here, 50 people are watching me."

"Anyway against Rafa you need to play a perfect match to win and on clay almost even more because in Australia I played maybe my best match ever and I lost in 5 sets. I think I need to play unbelievable and he needs to have also a bad day but you know my faith is there and I hope that tomorrow can be the day to beat him."

So the faith is there but it wouldn't hurt if Rafa has a not so perfect day. Well they're good friends and Verdasco is just being realistic. I like that! Afterall, Verdasco trails Rafa 0-8 in their head-to-head record.

Despite the obvious H2H record favoring Nadal, this match should be nothing short of incredible. The top two Spaniards facing off at this new impressive venue in Madrid, in front of thousands of home fans and celebrities, ranging from the Royal Family, to the infamous film maker Pedro Almodovar, to Real Madrid footballers, Raul Gonzalez and Gonzalo HiguaĆ­n. The stage is set and all we could hope for is a match that could even remotely resemble their Australian Open semifinal earlier this year.

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