Verdasco Comes Through At Grand Slams
The numbers speak for themselves: Fernando Verdasco shines on the biggest stages. Just a few weeks ago, the 34-year-old earned his 500th ATP World Tour victory by defeating
World No. 35 Verdasco holds a 102-59 record at majors since his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon 2003 (l. to Nieminen). In all, he has managed to reach the second week of a Grand Slam event 16 times. His best showing at a major was at the 2009 Australian Open (l. to Nadal), where he reached the semi-finals.
"I didn't even know I had earned my 100th victory the other day; honestly, it came as a surprise to me," Verdasco said. "Honestly, I didn't think I'd ever reach 100 Grand Slam wins. And it's funny how I achieved that around the same time I earned my 500th win on the ATP World Tour."
Verdasco has picked up numerous accolades and trophies throughout his 15-year career, including seven titles and 16 finals appearances at ATP World Tour events. His record at Grand Slams is especially impressive, and Verdasco hopes to add to his totals.
"Those are solid numbers and they prove that I've had a long and productive career," Verdasco said. "I'm hoping to achieve even more going forward. My record at Grand Slams means a lot to me because the pressure is immense at the majors. I've been pretty consistent at Grand Slams by getting into the third, fourth rounds, even deeper than that sometimes."
Verdasco is just one of the three Spanish players ranked in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings to have at least 20 per cent of wins come at a Grand Slam event. Rafael leads the list of Spaniards with 25.7 per cent; Verdasco is second at 20.1 per cent and David Ferrer is third at 20 per cent.
So what makes Verdasco shine in these scenarios? The left-handed player feels his physical conditioning and mental fortitude are contributing factors to his success at Grand Slams.
"I get extra motivation at Grand Slams and I feel comfortable going the distance," Verdasco explained. "Of course, it can be exhausting but I enjoy the grind. I've played a bunch of five-set matches (24-21 record) and I'm physically and mentally fit to go five sets. I can turn around and play at full force immediately after a five-set match. Maybe that's why I've been so successful at Grand Slams."
"Obviously, I'd rather get in, get out and win in three sets rather than five," Verdasco said. "It means less wear and tear, compared to playing five sets against Nishioka.
"Honestly for me, the most important thing is to try to win the maximum number of matches here, and to give it my all once I step on the court. The numbers, they're impressive and provide me with extra motivation, but performing at my best is what matters most."