US Open 2012: Dominant Roger Federer to Face Off Against Fernando Verdasco

Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIISeptember 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29:  Fernando Verdasco of Spain hits a backhand return during his Gentlemen's Singles third round match against Xavier Malisse of Belgium on day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Through the first two rounds of U.S. Open action, world No. 1 Roger Federer prepares for his next duel against world No. 26 Fernando Verdasco.


Federer so far

Federer has been on his game so far. He dispatched American star Donald Young in straight sets and then did the same to German Bjorn Phau. He has yet to be pushed even to a tiebreak so far at the Open.

Federer is having a resurgent summer. He reclaimed his position at world No. 1 and won his first Olympic medal. At the U.S. Open, he is looking to extend his records for most weeks at No. 1 and most total Grand Slam victories.

If he earns his sixth U.S. Open title, he will set an Open Era record, breaking his tie with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors. He would also become the first player in tennis history to win six titles at two different Grand Slam venues.


Verdasco so far

The 28-year-old Spaniard has had a strong showing so far, losing only one set in his first two matches. The former world No. 7 has had a lot of success on hard courts, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open twice.

Verdasco is a player who consistently plays his way into the later rounds of majors. He has reached the final 16 at 13 majors so far in his career.


The matchup

Fernando Verdasco is an offensive baseliner, and he is at his best on the fast hard courts in New York. Like many quality players, he is winless thus far in his career against Roger Federer. The two players have faced four times previously.

Their most recent match was at the end of the 2009 season at the World Tour Finals. In that match—also on fast hard courts—Verdasco played Federer tough until the decisive third set. He lost in the end 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

In that match, he achieved an impressive 74 first-serve percentage. If he can serve his absolute best, he can put up a fight against Federer in the U.S. Open third round. This is likely to be Federer's most difficult match until at least the quarterfinals.