Verdasco stuns Nadal in first round of Australian Open
(Associated Press) - January 19, 2016 - 1:22am

MELBOURNE, Australia — Fernando Verdasco has knocked fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal out of the opening Grand Slam of the season, beating his fellow Spanish lefthander 7-6 (6), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the first round.

It reversed an epic 5-hour, 14-minute semifinal the pair played in 2009 at Melbourne Park, which Nadal won in five sets and went on to take the title.

Verdasco clinched the fourth-set tiebreaker with an ace to send it to a fifth and deciding set, then after an exchange of breaks went ahead with a decisive break in the sixth game and held in the next to go up 5-2. He won the match in 4 hours, 41 minutes, on a service return winner.

Coming into the match, Nadal had won 14 of 16 previous meetings between the pair.

FERNANDO VERDASCO FIFTH GRAND SLAM MATCH MELBOURNE PARK NADAL PAIR RAFAEL NADAL SET VERDASCO WON
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