However today belonged to Fernando Verdasco. Anybody who thought Nadal would have it easy was mistaken...and mistaken by a long mile. Verdasco did not go away. He kept plugging back, saving every single break point. winning the tie breakers, chasing down every ball, hitting incredible winners.
He did it all. When the match ended it was 5 hrs 14 mins of absolutely gruelling tennis which left even the audience drained much less the players but Fernando refused to go away silently into the night. Quite an irony that he double faulted when it mattered the most inspite of playing the best match this Australian Open has seen.
He lost 7-6,4-6,7-6,6-7,4-6 but incredibly won many hearts along the way. The tennis they played was of supreme quality. The rally in the last game was played with as much intensity as the first game.No dips here. Both Nadal and Verdasco might have been on running on empty tanks but they sure were running hard.
Not to take any credit away from Nadal. However he did not bulldoze his opponent as he always does. Rather he was not allowed. Verdasco had Nadal under pressure matching him step for step, shot for shot from the first set. The relief on Nadal's face was amply evident. As also his graciousness in victory applauding Verdasco for a fine performance. Commendable. Kudos to Nadal, he fought his way through never letting Verdasco out of his sight.
The result of the final is difficult to predict. The form Fedex is in I'd probably have Federer a shade ahead but Nadal can as well overpower Federer. Tough to pick a winner.
As for today, had it been anyone else but Nadal half of Verdasco's balls would have been winners. Will Verdasco shape up to reach other Grand Slam finals and maybe win??? Only future shall tell but for today he played his part in an epic which was made all the more special becuase of his presence in it... Hero for the day. Respect.