Fernando Verdasco has been given the task of preventing Rafael Nadal from reaching the semi-final of the US Open, but having never beaten his fellow countryman in 11 attempts, it’s safe to assume Nadal will win.
Despite entering the US Open without making a final in this hard court season, Nadal has been in professional form thus far, his opponents have been unable to break his serve and he is strong 1/12 to progress to the semi-finals.
Nadal’s demolition of Feliciano Lopez in the fourth round just emphasised the lack of creativity shown by Spanish players when they come up against Nadal – in 33 matches against the three Spaniards who made the fourth round, Nadal has lost just five times.
Verdasco is yet to beat Nadal and his 6/1 odds suggest the win is out of reach today, but their only previous meeting at a Grand Slam event went the distance in Australia 2009, and its 8/1 that the same happens today.
Whilst Roger Federer continues to draw the plaudits, Nadal has somewhat flown under the radar and the exit of Andy Murray will make his route to the final a lot easier.
A win today and he will be a strong favourite to beat either Stanislav Wawrinka or Mikhael Youzhny in the semi, and his odds of 6/5 to win the tournament are tempting.
But Verdasco will be eyeing his first US Open semi and that may be the incentive he needs to overcome his winless streak against Nadal – his best chance is to do it in five sets and he is 14/1 to do so.
Federer’s impressive straight sets win over Soderling has seen him regain favouritism at 11/10. See the full US Open tennis betting market here.