The last time Fernando Verdasco faced a British No.1 on Wimbledon Centre Court, he led Andy Murray by two sets to love in an engrossing quarterfinal in 2013 – much to the dismay and disdain of the British faithful—before the Scotsman produced a comeback for the ages. The rest was history.
Fast forward 2019, the Spaniard was in familiar territory. This time though in the second round of the Championships with a newer British No.1 lurking in his way – except that Verdasco was the one trailing by two sets to love and a tie-break away from another early defeat in a Grand Slam before he recovered to win by a tennis score of 4-6 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-4 in three hours and 43 minutes of pulsating tennis. (And you can follow all of the exciting Wimbledon action and other tennis scores live at https://tennisbetslab.com/scores/)That was the sixth time in his career the Spanish left-hander recovered from a two-set deficit and surprisingly the disbelieving crowd on Centre Court warmed up to his victory.
Kyle Edmund was a base of calm in a mystifying Monday of tennis results when two of the highest seeded players departed, as he produced an excellent win over Rafael Nadal’s talented Mallorcan student Jaume Munar in the first round under difficult circumstances. The man from Yorkshire had reached his maiden grass-court semifinal of his career at Eastbourne last week and he made a pre-tournament claim that he could be a surprise of the singles title at Wimbledon this year.
Edmund had opened up a two-set lead as Verdasco misjudged a perfectly executed lob. The 30th seed took a commanding lead, demonstrating a thoroughly impressive aggressive tennis from the baseline before his lingering knee problem flared up once again. It was the same knee which forced the Briton to retire during his second round match at the French Open.
The British No.1 took a nasty tumble midway through the third set while chasing a ball and was not the same again. ‘’I just slipped over,’’ a disappointed Edmund said after the match.
‘’My leg just straightened and then in that moment I felt something. It was that sort of physical match where I couldn’t keep my level. The leg problem did not hold me back, just physically I could not keep going,’’ Edmund explained.
Take nothing away from Verdasco, who even in the 17th year of his great career is still capable of playing like he did in his prime. It was that sort of match that was not devoid of drama. There was great tennis, medical timeout, and then there was a comeback. The 35-year-old had sensed the moment Edmund’s body gave up and he tried to almost take his head off with every serve and atomic forehand to take an early lead in both the fourth and fifth sets.
‘’It was a long and hard match for many reasons. I was just trying to stay in the match no matter what the score was, and keep fighting and trying,’’ an ecstatic Fernando Verdasco told the presser.
This stunning tennis result sets up a third round meeting for Fernando Verdasco against Stefanos Tsitsipas’ conqueror Thomas Fabbiano of Italy who stared down at 38 aces from big serving Croat Ivo Karlovic to win his second five-setter in three days.
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