ATP Tour

Nadal faces Verdasco in tough return

2015-07-27 11:57
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Hamburg - Rafael Nadal will mark his return to Hamburg after a seven-year absence with a tough opener against compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

Nadal, down at 10 in the world after a tortuous year in which he lost his French Open title and suffered another early exit from Wimbledon, has decided to play the clay court tournament in a bid to resurrect his fortunes before heading for the US hard court season.

Nadal, 29, has a 13-2 career lead over Verdasco but his compatriot has won their last two clashes - on the hard courts of Miami earlier this year and on clay in Madrid in 2012.

In his last visit to the German city, Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the 2008 final.

He is 11-2 at the tournament, having only lost to Federer in 2007 and to former Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio in 2003.

"I am very happy to be back in Hamburg, I haven't been here since 2008 so it's great to be back in such a nice city. I have great memories about this tournament," Nadal told on Sunday.

"I think probably defeating Carlos Moya in 2003 was a very important match for me at the time but also I remember very well the match against Novak Djokovic in 2008 which was very emotional."

In his first tournament since Wimbledon, Nadal will be playing doubles also in Hamburg.

He is set to partner 18-year-old Jaume Munar, who also hails from Mallorca.

"I feel good, there are no problems. I look forward to this week," said Nadal.

The Spaniard has already been defeated 12 times this year, including just a second career loss at Roland Garros and a second round exit to German journeyman Dustin Brown at Wimbledon.

In 2014, Nadal was beaten just 11 times. He was defeated only seven times in 2013 and lost a mere six matches in the whole of 2012.

"I need to accept that it is a new situation and face it with a good attitude and keep working hard to return to a good level," said Nadal.

"I feel good. I don't have any injuries and that is the important thing."

Read more on:    fernando verdasco  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.