Looking for a second threepeat in Melbourne, Novak Djokovic will open the night session on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday as he seeks a record seventh title. In his first slam match for a long time as anything other than World No.1, he will face one time semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco. Check out the Djokovic vs Verdasco Head to Head.
They have already met this year with Djokovic coming back from multiple match points down to beat the Spaniard in three sets in Doha. Buoyed by the victory, Djokovic would go on to win the title with a three set win over the new No.1 Andy Murray. “I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season, saving some match points in the semifinals, playing a really exciting match against Verdasco, then the next day against Andy.” he said.
Djokovic did have that feel of invincibility with his dominance over the tour but he modestly played down such suggestions.”Nobody is invincible. I never thought of myself as a superior player on the court, even though of course at times I was very confident, I was winning a lot of matches.” said Djokovic. The Serbian’s mental strength is right up there and only challenged on the odd occasion. However his loss at Wimbledon to Sam Querrey seemed to signal a downturn although rumours of reasons for his struggles have suggested both physical and personal issues rather than cracks in his game beginning to appear.
Verdasco does have 4 wins over Djokovic in his career but all of them were before 2010 and the first two were when Djokovic was outside the top 50. The aforementioned Doha match should have been a fifth victory but you have to think that loss will be playing on the Spaniards mind, especially when you consider that he has never really been considered a mental titan. A confident Djokovic should expect to see this one off with little trouble as he awaits a challenge which seems most likely to come first in round four against a revitalised Grigor Dimitrov.
Novak Djokovic in straight sets