– We will continue to analyse one sided rivalries between active players. We started with Ferrer-Federer, Roddick-Federer and Troicki-Djokovic. We’ll continue with three more one sided rivalries on active tennis:
Federer vs Youzhny: 14-0 [ 1-0 on indoor hard, 6-0 on grass, 2-0 on clay, 5-0 on indoor hard].
The matches between this pair of oldies ( Youzhny is 30, and Federer is 31) have always been one sided, Youzhny has only taken three sets in 14 meetings [ Stockholm 2000, Halle 2003 and Wimbledon 2011]. Youzhny had his bigger chance in Halle 2003, losing 4-6 7-6(4) 6-2. They met four times on Grand Slams, once on R3 and QF, and twice on R4. The place where they have met most times is Halle ( 2002,2003,2004 and 2012). Federer is such a bad match-up for Youzhny because he does everything a bit better than the colonel, except, perhaps his backhand.
Ferrer vs Almagro: 10-0 [ 3-0 on outdoor hard, 7-0 on clay].
Unlike many of this rivalries, most of matches between the pair have been very tight, with Almagro taking sets in 6 of the 10 they have played, and in two of this six matches there was a third set TB ( it happened in Valencia F 08′ and Madrid R3 12′). The first meeting was very tight, in Cincinatti R2 06′, with Ferrer winning 4-6 7-6(1) 6-0, and then Ferrer had two relatively easy wins over Nico, not dropping a set. However, tough times for Ferru facing Almagro came again, with him having to grind three very difficult matches in Valencia 2008 & 2009 and Acapulco 2011, two of then finals ( Valencia 08 and Acapulco 11). Ferru handled Nico easily in Bastad and Barcelona on 2011 but his matches vs Nico on 2012 have been a struggle, having to fight hard in Buenos Aires [ 4/6 6/3 6/2] and specially on the blue clay of Madrid, having to save matchpoints and prevailing 10-8 in the third set tie break. The place where they have met the most is Valencia ( 2 times). Nico has the game to beat Ferrer but sometimes he just lacks the belief many times, and Ferru rock solid mentality and tactics vs non top-5 players breaks down Almagro.
Nadal vs Verdasco: 13-1 * [ 6-0 on outdoor hardcourt, 6-1 on clay and 1-0 on grass]
– This rivalry has provided many boring and awful quality matches, but still, it gave us one of the best matches of the 2000’s decade: their Aussie Open 2009 SF, in which Verdasco, in his prime took a great Nadal ( he won that year AO, and was #1) to 5 sets. Nadal started the rivalry with three straight sets wins. Then, Verdasco started his choking vs Nadal: he lost 2-6 7-6(3) 7-6(3), having multiple chances to win the match. After that, Nadal got an easy win in Indian Wells R3 07′, and gave Verdasco a humiliation in Roland Garros 2008 R4, winning 6/1 6/2 6/0. Then, the epic match before mentioned on Oz. Nadal then got four straight sets wins, three on clay, and one on hardcourt, all of these four matches in GS/ Masters 1000’s ( one of them one of the biggest matches of Fernando’s career: MC final, which ended 6/1 6/0 for Rafa). Then, they provided us one of the worst matches recently: Cincinatti R3 in 2011, ending 7/6(5) 6/7(4) 7/6(9), a match in which Verdasco led by a break on all three sets. Rafa then gave Verdasco another beating, in Barcelona SF ( 6/0 6/4 for Rafa), and then the thing that seemed impossible happened:
Verdasco beated Rafa ( in Madrid 2012) and it was even more surprising because Rafa was leading *5-2 in the third set, and then got tight, a thing we should expect from Verdasco, not from Rafa. Verdasco threw himself on the blue clay, as he couldn’t believe he had beated Nadal. Afterwards Nadal claimed that if Madrid organization keeped the blue clay he wouldn’t return. The place where they have met more times is Madrid ( twice, in 2009 and 2012).
* Nadal won a Challenger meeting in 2003, in Aachen QF by 6/2 7/5.