|WAIT - WHICH TENNIS BALL AM I MEANT TO HIT?|
It's not called the Spanish Armada for nothing. But amongst the deadly destroyers on Spain's ultra-competitive tennis arsenal, Fernando Verdasco has been left behind.
There are eight Spaniards on the ATP Rankings' Top 50. Rafael Nadal (4) and David Ferrer (5) were fixtures at this year's French Open. Nicolas Almagro (16) is the prized fighter everyone expects to burst into the top 10 any time soon. Tommy Robredo (30) remains a quiet force. Feliciano Lopez (39) relentlessly proves he's not just a pretty face. Marcel Granollers (41) has the added edge of being a doubles threat, too, with a career-high ranking of world number 4. Albert Montanes (48) is a pit bull, having been away from the Top 100 for only 20 weeks since he entered it in 2001. And Daniel Gimeno-Traver (50) is the armada's silent assassin, having previously prevailed over Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Meanwhile, Verdasco has had a disappointing season so far. He reached the third round of the 2013 Australian Open and of the Masters 1000 in Madrid. Other than that, he did not make it beyond the second round of any tournament in the first five months. He lost in the 2nd round of the 2013 French Open, to Janko Tipsarević, in five sets. Verdasco (56) has the distinction of ranking below Pablo Andujar (52).
Just below Verdasco are Albert Ramos (61), Roberto Bautista Agut (62), and the very menacing Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (79) - all of whom could overtake Verdasco at any time.
It's a tough hand to have, especially for someone who was once ranked world no. 7 in 2009. Verdasco is only 29 - older than Rafa but younger than Ferrer. He should still be playing some really mean tennis today instead of just being a footnote on Spain's Davis Cup titles in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Oh, well. At least Verdasco can claim to be the only Spanish tennis player to have been picked for a Calvin Klein underwear campaign. Perhaps he might then consider taking tips from Feli on how to both be pretty and powerful on the court?
Excuse me - speaking on destroyers:
|JUST POSE, NANDO, |
YOU'VE FOUND YOUR CALLING!