Fernando Verdasco v Nicolas Almagro Preview – ATP Houston 2014 Final

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An all-Spanish meeting is scheduled to take place in the final of the U.S Clay Court Championships, as Fernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro clash for the 10th time on the professional tour. Verdasco leads the head-to-head series 6-3, with the most recent victory taking place last year in Basel.

After missing all of January, Nicolas Almagro began his season in strong fashion, as he reached the semi-finals in both Vina del Mar and Buenos Aires, yet failed to win a title. The world No. 20 reached the finals with a walkover, after Sam Querrey retired ahead of their scheduled semi-final clash. Now through to his first final of the season, Almagro will be looking to successfully defeat his fellow countryman Verdasco, who had a much tougher outing in his semi-final match. Having finished runner-up last season, this will add extra motivation for Almagro tomorrow.

“He’s really dangerous on clay,” Almagro said of Verdasco. “He’s serving well. It will be a nice final. We are going to do our best.”

World No. 29 Fernando Verdasco reached the semi-finals in Houston following a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Santiago Giraldo on Saturday. The second set was particularly impressive, as Verdasco, who was a break behind in the set, reeled off four straight games to close out the match in just over an hour and a half. He is now through to both the singles and doubles finals.

“Both finals, I can’t ask for anything more.” exclaimed Verdasco. “Now I’ll try to recover and give my best this afternoon.”

This marks the 10th time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Verdasco leading the head-to-head series 6-3. While the former world No. 7 may hold the overall lead in the h2h, he will be under the pressure of his six-match losing streak in finals, which dates back to 2010. Verdasco is capable of lifting his first title in four years tomorrow, but he will need to overcome himself before his opponent.

Prediction: Nicolas Almagro in Three Sets 



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