One hour and fifteen minutes into the match Fernando Verdasco needed to access the grand final of the Rio ATP 500 , the first of his career. The Spaniard canceled a Fabio Fognini (6-1, 7-5) that swelled to unforced errors in both legs, but especially in a first set that then ended up weighing in the second. Diego Schwartzman will be the last obstacle of the Madrid native in Brazil, a meeting of two clear clay profiles that will seek to inaugurate his record this season.
People were excited on Twitter excited before this meeting. They sought to make calculations, predict a result, unconscious that from a Verdasco-Fognini few notes can be drawn. As Roberto Carretero indicated during the broadcast, “it will be an hour match and ten or one of three hours “. However, in this clash of talent without a clear favorite, one piece of information clarified the mystery between so much smoke. Of the five clashes between the two (the Spanish dominated 3-2), the only two on clay had gone to the hands of the Madrid. It might not be enough, but it was already an indicator of what could be seen today.
At stake was a pass to the end of an ATP 500, stay that both players already knew well but that does not stop being succulent. Not so much for Fabio, he would think some after seeing how he lost 3-0 in just 10 minutes . No energy, running little and bad, failing a lot and pissed off with himself and his racket. The first subject was not damaged but the second ended in two. The handle bothered him and that’s why he decided to change it … in his own way. The set was already too doubled, not even the recovery of a break served to even the balance. In fact, the Italian would not make a game more in the partial. The forecast of a fast match without flavor took strength, although with Fognini on the track, we always have to wait for a reaction.
It was not a monstrous reaction, but it was something more than what has been offered so far. After asking for time with the physio and walkingaround in the locker room, Fognini jumped on the track wanting to play tennis and make amends for his bad start. He even enjoyed a 0-40 with 2-2 on the scoreboard that raised the alarm of the Spanish tennis player, but he was not nervous either. Verdasco managed to get that crucial game forward and, at the same time, scratched his soul a centimeter more than San Remo. The ghosts returned to the head of the Rio finalist three years ago, perhaps to spend their last cartridge.
The tenth game of the second set was started by Fabio with a double fault, bad omen. But no, the break did not come here, but a couple of games later. Where it hurts most, when you almost caress the tiebreak , where the blackest scene can turn in light, just the script change that the Italian was looking for. But it was already late, Verdasco squeezed in that twelfth game and a parallel setback from the Italian did not want to touch the line. End of the party to place Fernando in the sixth final of his career in an ATP 500, although he could only win the Barcelona 2010. Tomorrow Schwartzman will look to celebrate his high-class return to the top30 starting next Monday.