Fernando Verdasco came back from a brink of defeat to beat world no.2 Rafael Nadal and moved into the Mutua Madrid Masters quarterfinals, winning 6-3 3-6 7-5.
This was his first ever win against Nadal, and having lost the previous 13 meetings against the no.2 seed Spaniard, he was going into the match as a clear underdog.
But Verdasco was the first to take his opponent’s serve to go 2-0 up. Despite Nadal breaking right back, the world no.19 struck again in the 6th game and when serving for the set at 5-3, he produced a love game.
Although Nadal didn’t seem to be at his very best today, he got off to a 3-1 lead in the second set. One more break of serve on either side allowed Nadal to serve out the set and level the match.
Rafa seemed to be back on track and after taking Verdasco’s serve twice at the beginning of the third set, the scoreboard showed 4-1 in his favour. When 5-2 up, Nadal had a couple of chances to serve out the set and the match, but Verdasco managed to come back and reignite his hopes of defeating his nemesis. Not only did he hold for 6-5, he managed to take Rafa’s serve to the surprise of most of the people in the crowd and claim a dream victory.
Verdasco’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be the Czech Berdych, who overcame Gael Monfils of France in straight sets 6-1 6-1.