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Fernando Verdasco, the Doubles Specialist?

March 28, 2012

Today, the last quarterfinal matchups at the Sony Ericsson Open take place on the men’s side. First up, even as I type this, is David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco going up against this year’s Australian Open champs, Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek.

I can’t really prognosticate the results right now, but on paper it seems like it would be a cakewalk for Paes and Stepanek. However, Marrero and Verdasco actually entered this tournament as one of the hottest teams on the planet, having captured two titles on the “Golden Swing” in Latin America. Granted, those tournament wins came on their favored clay, but they’ve shown that they’re solid on the hard courts, having knocked off Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau in the first round in Miami.

Now, one might not think of Verdasco as a traditional doubles player, but he has won a total of three titles now and is usually part of Spain’s go-to doubles team in Davis Cup with Feliciano Lopez–even those two haven’t exactly lit it up in recent ties. I guess the thing about Verdasco is that he’s a physical beast and handling balls hit off his racquet is a tough task for nearly anyone–be it in singles or doubles.

“Specialist,” as the headline questions, might be a little too strong, but he’s shown he knows what he’s doing when it’s time to partner up. Perhaps that extra bit of play will help him get back in the top 10 in singles. Maybe with a top-20 doubles ranking to go beside it?

(Photo: Getty Images)

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