Day 3. Round 2. Fernando Verdasco

Andy Taylor Announcer. 2018 US Open Round-2. Fernando Verdasco defeats Andy Murray

Sports Announcer Andy Taylor | The Voice of the US Open | Photo: @USOpen

[31] Fernando Verdasco -32- (ESP) def Andy Murray -382- (GBR) | 75 26 64 64

Fernando Verdasco hadn’t beaten Andy Murray in 9-years. If there were ever an opportunity, it was now – during Andy’s comeback from hip surgery. They last played over a year ago in the Dubai Final, where Murray captured his 45th career ATP World Tour Singles title.

In their 15th career meeting, from ball-up it felt like Verdasco’s match to lose. But after a double fault cost Fernando the second set, he needed to cast aside his own demons to deliver the victory…

ROAD TO ROUND-2: Fernando Verdasco

R1: def. Feliciano Lopez -63- (ESP) 62 75 64 | Court 11

Only one other opponent on the ATP World Tour has played more consecutive Slams than Fernando Verdasco: Feliciano Lopez. On Monday, Fernando sent Lopez packing in straight-sets. It was a 2-hour shellacking on Court 11, and an efficient win. Verdasco had 8 break opportunities and converted 6. On the flip side, Fernando offered Lopez 12 break chances, saving 10. Clearly, he’ll need to improve his service game moving forward.

ROAD TO ROUND-2: Andy Murray

R1: def. James Duckworth -448- (AUS) 67(5) 63 75 63 | Louis Armstrong Stadium

Welcome back Andy. The 3-time Grand Slam Champ knows its a long climb back to the top. After his Quarterfinal loss to Sam Querrey last year at Wimbledon, he finally made the call to surgically repair his hip – an injury he’s carried in what feels like forever.

Monday marked just the 9th match of his return. He officially launched his comeback at Queens Club back in June, where he delivered a solid deciding-set performance against Nick Kyrgios. Murray played a pair of matches in Eastbourne, pulled out of Wimbledon, played 3 brutal late matches during a rain-soaked Citi Open in D.C., then fell to Lucas Pouille in the 1st-Round of Cincinnati. That’s a lot of time on court for a remodeled joint.

Up against a hungry Aussie in Round-1 of the Open, Andy toiled for over 3-hours to earn the win. At this point in his return, it’s all about making progress with each match, playing within himself and knowing his limits – especially at the best-of-five Slams. To come back after losing the first set in a tight tie-break is definitely progress.

Verdasco’s first win over Murray in 9-years

Fernando Verdasco started the match determined to spend all day moving Murray side to side. He and Andy traded a pair of breaks before the third changeover. After the next sit-down, Verdasco saved a set-point, then won three straight to take the early lead.

But the lead disappeared in just 36-minutes. Verdasco’s serve was completely off in the second. Andy knew where every ball would land, and was up 5-2 in no time. Serving to stay in the set, Verdasco leveled the match with a double fault on set-point. Disaster.

Sets 3 and 4 were as different story, however. Disgusted with himself, Fernando opened the third with a break, then broke again before the second changeover. He dug in, embraced longer rallies despite the hanging humidity, and let his healthy legs outlast Murray’s reconstructed hip.

After 3-hours and 23 minutes, Fernando finally earned his first victory over Murray in 9-years. But there’s work to be done. Especially on serve. Verdsaco offered Andy 15 break opportunities during the match, including a double fault to lose a set. Always aggressive and persistent, his return game was tremendous, converting 7 of 10 on Murray’s serve.

Andy Taylor - Announcer at the 2018 US Open. Match Recap: Fernando Verdasco defeats Andy Murray

NEXT: [31] Fernando Verdasco -32- (ESP) vs [3] Juan Martin Del Potro -03- (ARG)

Fernando will face 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin Del Potro in Round-3. Del Potro’s Open so far:

R2: def. Denis Kudla -72- (USA) 63 61 76(4) | Louis Armstrong Stadium
R1: def. [Q] Donald Young -246- (USA) 60 63 64 | Louis Armstrong Stadium

Delpo has been a tough nut to crack for Verdasco. They’ve played five times. Two of those matches came down to a deciding set tie-break, but Fernando lost them both. Verdasco’s only victory came in 2011, during the San Jose Semifinals – a time when Juan Martin was again struggling with wrist issues. Now the World #3, thankfully those wrist issues appear to be a distant memory for the Argentine. Fernando will have to serve lights-out and avoid Del Potro’s forehand to have a chance on Friday.

[31] Fernando Verdasco -32- (ESP)

This 34-year-old, 3-time Davis Cup Champion owns 7 ATP World Tour Singles titles and has been ranked as high as #7 in the World. A Semifinalist at the 2009 Australian Open, he is competing in his 62nd consecutive Major – the second longest active streak on the ATP World Tour. Earlier this year, he earned his 500th career match victory in his hometown of Madrid, and reached his 23rd career Singles Final in Rio – where he also captured his 8th Doubles title. A 2-time Quarterfinalist here in Flushing, he is competing in his 16th US Open. From Spain – Please welcome, Fernando Verdasco.

Andy Murray -382- (GBR)

Five years ago, he won his first Grand Slam title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium, becoming the first man from Great Britain to win a Major in 77-years. Now a 3-time Grand Slam Champion, he’s won Wimbledon twice, and held the World #1 ranking for 41-weeks. The only player in tennis history to win Olympic Singles Gold twice, he’s also a Davis Cup Champion, and in 2016 captured the year-end ATP World Tour Finals. Knighted “Sir Andy” by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to tennis and charity, he now owns 45 career ATP World Tour Singles titles and returns to Flushing after missing last year’s Open, recovering from hip surgery. From Dunblane, Scotland, please welcome back to Arthur Ashe Stadium – 2012 US Open Champion, Andy Murray.