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By Akshay Kohli
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Two southpaws take the court as Rafael Nadal locks horns with Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open. With a place in the finals up for grab, one can expect some really high level of tennis.
Nadal, fresh from his eighth straight title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters would be looking to continue his tremendous form on clay and also try closing in the Gap with the World No.1 Novak Djokovic. With his confidence on clay growing, Nadal is one of the toughest guys to beat on clay as he prepares well for the upcoming Masters events and the Roland Garros. He has fared well in all the tournaments he as played, his 22-3 win loss record indicates it. He is just two matches away from successfully defending his Barcelona Open crown as he takes on a spirited Verdasco. He is looking to win his second title of the year and that too back-to-back.
His opponent is his good friend, Verdasco is ranked 20th on the ATP Charts as he looks to climb the rankings. With a win-loss record of 12-8 this year, Verdasco reached the finals of the Mexican Open and has performed decently well on clay. His previous round victories have all been in straight sets as he looks to continue his good run here. Though he got a walkover from the match against Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinal, Verdasco deserves being here. He has his tasks cut out when he faces Nadal as he also knows what Nadal is capable off.
They two have played 12 times before with Nadal winning all 12 encounters. Their last meeting was a cliffhanger with Nadal prevailing in three tie break sets 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.
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