Rafael Nadal to Face Fernando Verdasco in Hamburg Opener

Spanish star Rafael Nadal will lock horns with compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the first round of Bet-At-Home Open in Hamburg on Tuesday.

This will be the first time that Nadal will be playing in the German city since his singles triumph in 2008, when he defeated Spanish veteran Roger Federer in the final to extend his win-loss record in the event to 11-2.

“I am very happy to be back in Hamburg, I haven’t been here since 2008 so it’s great to be back in such a nice city. I have great memories about this tournament,” said Nadal.

This marks the 16th time that Nadal and Verdasco will cross fields on the professional tour, with former leading the head-to-head record 13-2.

Verdasco’s both victories came in the last two meetings between the pair. He first defeated Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at clay-court of Madrid three years ago and then on the hard courts of Miami earlier this year, where he posted an empathic 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win.

Nadal had last defeated Verdasco on clay court of Barcelona in 2012, when he cruised to a  6-0, 6-4 win .

Besides Nadal and Verdasco, the event features seven other Spaniards including David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Borna Coric, Juan Monaco, Tommy Robredo and Gilles Simon.

Nadal will also play doubles in the Hamburg tournament, having teamed up with his 18-year-old compatriot Jaume Munar, the winner of this year’s Roland Garros junior doubles event.

The pair will face reigning Australian Open champions Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the first round.

“He (Munar) is from Mallorca, too and he is one of the best juniors of the world and he is one of the young stars from our country,” said Nadal.

“It’s good to play doubles with him and it will be a great opportunity for him to keep learning and to keep playing well in a big tournament like this one.”

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