Fernando Verdasco is a popular professional tennis player from Spain. As of April 2011 he is ranked number 12 in the world. He previously reached a career high ranking of number 7 in 2009. Let’s take a look at his biography and then break down his game in detail!
But first check out this video of him hitting his phenomenal groundstrokes!
Verdasco Practicing – Listen To The Sound Of Those Groundies!
Verdasco was born in 1983 in Madrid, Spain. He started playing at the young age of 4 and was lucky enough to have two tennis courts in his backyard!
His was a talented junior and turned pro in 2001 at the young age of 18. In 2002 he won his first professional tournament, a small futures event in Spain. It took him a little longer to really break through on the Pro Tour though. In 2004 he had that breakthrough, winning his first ATP title in Valencia and finishing the year ranked number 36 in the world!
So far Fernando Verdasco has won 5 career singles titles!
His best Grand Slam performance so far was a semi-final appearance at the 2009 Australian Open where his lost a tough 5 setter to Nadal. He also reached the quarterfinals at the 2009 and 2010 US Open.
Fernando Verdasco has a powerful baseline game. Let’s break it down in detail!
Verdasco has one of the best forehands in the game!
He is one of the few players that hit the ball with a straight hitting arm. It will have to be seen whether or not this is a new trend among professional players but it is certainly something that I do not recommend to copy for recreational players!
Verdasco Hitting His Forehands With A Straight Hitting Arm!
Fernando Verdasco’s forehand has all of the basic elements that make a great forehand!
He swings high to low to high and he uses his entire body to generate power. Also note how still he keeps his head at contact!
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Verdasco hits a solid two-handed backhand. He has good grips and a good swing pattern. Usually he gets underneath the ball really well and gets good height over the net with his two-hander.
Even though his game plan is built around his forehand, I believe he could hit his backhand more aggressive at times because it is a technically sound shot!
Sometimes he rotates a bit too much with his upper body though, causing him to slightly frame shots. You can see this on the last shot of the short video clip below!
Fernando Verdasco: A Great Backhand
Sometimes Loses Control Of His Upper Body Though!
To learn more about the basic elements of great tennis strokes visit the Tennis Video Instruction page on this website!
Fernando Verdasco does not hit many slice backhands. He uses it mainly in defensive situations and when he has to deal with low balls.
His slice backhand is not very good in my opinion!
His racket face is very open at contact and he swings across the ball a whole lot. Most likely his grip is causing the racket face to be that open.
Therefore his balls tend to float and sit up, making it easy for his opponents to take advantage of those weaker shots. I think he could easily improve this shot a lot if he would make a slight grip and swing adjustment!
Fernando has a decent serve but it is not a great serve and not good enough if he wants to consistently compete with the absolute top players in the world! He has a very fluid motion and achieves a lot of the key body positions for a good serve though!
Unfortunately he does not go for his first serves enough. Often he hits first serves with a lot of spin just to make sure he gets a high percentage of first serves in!
His toss is often a bit too far to the right, resulting in too much topspin on those first serves. That makes it difficult to really flatten out the serve or hit a pure slice serve out wide from the ad court. His slice serve out wide sometimes has a bit of kick to it and therefore does not pull the opponent out of the court as much as possible!
I believe that a few minor adjustments, beginning with the toss, could turn Verdasco into a good server!
Verdasco, like so many other pro players, builds his game around his powerful forehand. He tries to dictate points with his inside-out and inside-in forehand shots. As a lefty he has the great advantage that he can hit the slice serve out wide in the ad court and get to hit a forehand with the next shot most of the time.
I do think that Verdasco could improve quite a few things from a tactical standpoint!
First and foremost he does not go for his first serve enough. He tends to just spin it in and get the point started, hoping to control with his forehand.
This is a tactic that has been quite successful for him in the past and most likely in his junior years as well, but unfortunately that is not enough to beat the world?s best players in Grand Slam tournaments! So Verdasco needs to develop a mindset to go for his first serves more.
Additionally, he could hit his forehand even bigger in many situations!
Again he is probably used to hitting it hard with a lot of spin and winning a ton of matches that way. Against the best players though, he needs to be even more aggressive when he has a good opportunity to go for a forehand and flatten it out a bit more!
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Fernando Verdasco is a phenomenal athlete and certainly has a great body for Tennis! His legs are incredibly strong, he is agile around the court, and he also has great balance.
Verdasco has been criticized by some tennis experts to not work hard enough and has even gained the reputation as a party boy
In recent years he has been working with Agassi’s former physical trainer Gil Reyes. Reyes is known as a tough guy with an incredible work ethic. Verdasco has mentioned before that he benefited tremendously from these workouts.
Hopefully he continues to put in the hard work!
I like how Fernando pumps himself up after good shots. He will fist pump or sometimes you can even see him running to the bench after finishing a game with a great shot. Research has shown that this kind of positive body language will influence your future thoughts about your game and therefore increase your confidence!
Nevertheless the mental game is an area that Verdasco could improve a lot in my opinion!
To me it seems like he does not quite have the belief in himself that he can beat the top players when they are at their best. If you have this kind of belief in your subconscious mind, it will cause you to get nervous and even choke when it really matters.
There could be a lot of reasons for this lack of belief. One could be that he knows deep down that those guys work harder than he does. But this is just speculation on my part. I think Verdasco would be well-advised to work with a mental coach!
Here is my ranking for Fernando Verdasco:
First and foremost Verdasco needs to improve his first serve!
He gets a high percentage of first serves in but he does not risk enough with it. I think it is more of a tactical problem than a technical problem. Too rarely does Verdasco flatten out his first serve completely!
Especially from the ad court he would benefit a lot if he could hit a flat serve down the T that does not curve back in towards his opponent! Most opponents are so used to his slice out wide that it does not bother them very much anymore.
Overall his first serve simply does not get him enough free points when he plays against the top guys that have great serves!
I also think that Verdasco should flatten out his forehand more often, going for bigger shots whenever he is in the right situation to do so!
Even though Verdasco at times does seem to be a good fighter on the tennis court, he needs to find a way to get stronger mentally!
It seems like he does not quite believe in himself when he plays against Nadal, Federer, or Djokovic. He certainly has the game to beat those guys though and therefore hiring a mental coach would probably be a good idea for him as well!
Fernando Verdasco himself has said that he played his best Tennis after working incredibly hard in the off-season with Gil Reyes. If he continues to do that, improves his serve, and gets stronger mentally, he has a chance to compete with the Top5 players in the world!
So much for the Fernando Verdasco Biography and Game Analysis