Verdasco: ‘Hopefully and stay for few more years on the tour’

The 34-year-old Fernando Verdasco took down the No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov and eventually, lost in Indian Wells to Taylor Fritz. On the plus side, he says that he is not ready to retire now. The former top 10 Verdasco reached the ’09 Australian Open against Rafa Nadal, losing in five incredible sets, that lasted more than five hours.

After he rests and goes on vacation Verdasco, wants to walk on the court and begin hitting again. He is playing Miami this week, and he is hoping that he will be hitting the ball next week, too.

“Tennis was always my life since I’m a baby. I always love this sport. I always love to play,” Verdasco said. “Of course, you always have some crisis in your life that, you like to play but maybe you just want to go on a beach and just relax some days with friends. But, actually, when I’m away for maybe a week, maybe 10 days, I miss it. And then I just want to go back to the court, to the gym, and work and try to keep improving and working hard to stay in the top level and being able to fight against the best players in the world, no? Now I’m 34 and I have to fight against players with 21, 22, 23 (of age) that that they are much younger. They have much less miles or kilometers in his legs.”

Verdasco admits that one of the reason he lost to Fritz is because he didn’t go for the lines often enough. He can be steady, and aggressive, but there have been some matches when he backed off.

“I was sometimes losing matches because, in the important moments with my serve, I was just kind of like not pushing. But just playing with first serves maybe 100 miles, and maybe I need to serve 125, 130, 135 sometimes, even if I miss.” Verdasco said. “But that’s what really makes you improve, and sometimes you have to take the risk. One match with Andy Murray, fourth round in Australia when I did semifinals, the fifth set against him, I start serving, 130 all the time. And, I surprised his return, because he was waiting for me wide, wide, wide, and then I start to do T hard, and many free points I got. Is not easy with pressure. And, hopefully, I will still have time to improve in more things and stay for few more years on the tour.”

Verdasco has always had a huge forehand, and his first serve, but his backhand has been mediocre. The Spaniard continues to work on it, to mix it up and hit it reasonably deep.
 
“My forehand was always there, or feeling good. The backhand, sometimes not that regular or maybe hurting that much. So, maybe I have to work my footwork to try to play with my forehand as much as possible. Backhand be aggressive. Changing, mix it up, high, low, slice. … It depending on who you play. Everything change about that. You try to change your game to hurt him, and at the end you’re hurting yourself because you’re not doing what you know how to do the best. So, in the end, it’s kind of like confusion because you lose because you don’t know what you’re doing on the court. That’s the worst feeling when you jump on court and you lose doing that.”

Miami notes
Vika Azarenka crushed CiCi Bellis in the first round. Azarenka admitted that she was pretty nervous, but once she went on court, she immediately locked in. Can she win Miami once again? It is a little early, but you never now with her. She faces Madison Keys in the next round. Keys has to get going. Azarenka already has.

Monica Puig took down Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-4. Puig loves Miami, where she lives.

Katarina Pliskova will face Ekaterina Makarova on Thursday. The Czech has to keep her head down because during some days, she doesn’t focus. The same thing goes with Makarova, but both of them are very good.

Roger Federer, who let the final against Juan Martin del Potro at Indian Wells slip away, says after Miami is done, he will decide whether to play Roland Garros. Now that would be nice to have play the Slam he didn’t play last year. Here are two very good matchups in doubles: John Isner/Donald Young v. Kyle Edmund/Nenad Zimonjic; Zverev brothers vs. Santiago Gonzalez/Verdasco.

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