19:00 – Murray v Verdasco
Rankings are 4 and 8. Head to heads are 6-1 to Murray with their last match being in April this year. That was an easy straight sets win for Murray.
Two excellent servers. Verdasco has the most consistent first serve on the tour at 70%. Murrays in comparison is a lowly 58% but he wins 85% of his service games to Verdasco’s 84%. Murray often has to work hard on his own serve but saves 66% of break points against him.
He has to be favourite today but it certainly won’t be a walkover.
Back Murray on serve. Watch the game to see how easily Verdasco holds serve. If Murray is threatening to break then don’t back Verdasco’s serve but if Verdasco is holding fairly easily you have the option of laying Murray on Verdasco’s serve.
Update: Murray won the first set and looked in a different class. Having said that he made heavy weather of a couple of service games and had to come back from break points down. Towards the end of that set Murray seemed to be fighting for breath and was finding it difficult to even take a drink between gasps. He looked like he was suffering from some illness rather than an injury.
In the second set he wasn’t the same player and Verdasco took encouragement from that. Cheered on by his home crown, Verdasco was inspired and was suddenly able to make almost every shot. He took the second set very easily.
Murray seemed to be out of it and even though he was staying level in the early games of the deciding set it was clearly taking a huge effort.
He showed the fighting spirit that we expect but don’t always get and won the set and the match.
Murray won 6-3, 2-6, 6-3