China Open, Beijing R2
National Tennis Stadium – Not Before 3pm
Novak Djokovic (Player Info) continues his quest for a fourth China Open title in a second round meeting with Fernando Verdasco (Player Info). It marks the tenth official meeting between the pair although they have also met in Kooyong and Hopman Cup exhibition matches. Check out the Djokovic vs Verdasco Head to Head
Djokovic eased his way past the struggling Lukas Rosol in his first tour match since losing in the final of the US Open. The 6-0 6-3 win was a dominant display that saw him break the Czech’s serve on four occasions. Djokovic dropped just six points on serve and notably just the one on his second serve.
Meanwhile, Verdasco was also a straight sets winner but it wasn’t quite as easy for him. He escaped successfully from a 2-6 hole in a first set tie break to defeat Somdev Devvarman 7-6 6-3. It signalled the end of a three match losing streak in tour play after he lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky in St Petersburg.
Djokovic has a 30-5 record on hard courts this year losing only to Rafael Nadal (twice), John Isner, Tommy Haas and Juan Martin Del Potro. Verdasco has the potential to take a set at his best but is unlikely to add his name to that list of players. A losing record on hard courts this year of 5-6 is nothing to shout about and also includes a first round exit at the US Open.
Surprisingly, the head to head isn’t quite as one sided as some would expect between the two. Discounting the aforementioned exhibitions which the pair split, Djokovic leads 5-4. They have not met since 2010 but Verdasco won the last two meetings although both were on clay. Expect Djokovic to stretch out the lead and move ever closer to a record breaking Beijing title.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in straight sets