Fixture: Alexander Zverev vs Fernando Verdasco
Date: 15 October 2020
Tournament: Bett1Hulks Indoors 2020
Round: Second round
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Alexander Zverev vs Fernando Verdasco preview
Top seed and home favorite Alexander Zverev takes on Fernando Verdasco in the second round of the Bett1Hulks Indoors tournament in Cologne on Thursday.
Although bereft of titles, Zverev has had a pretty solid season in 2020. He achieved the best results of his career at the Grand Slams - semifinals at the Australian Open and final at the US Open.
The German comes into the tournament in Cologne on the back of a fourth-round defeat to Jannik Sinner at Roland Garros. Zverev revealed following the match that he was severely unwell, but he tested negative for COVID-19.
Despite the defeat at the French Open, Zverev should be full of confidence, especially on hardcourts. The last time he played on the surface he reached the final of the US Open, where he was a few points away from the title.
Zverev takes on Spain's Fernando Verdasco, who despite having a streaky year both on and off the court, played a very solid match against Andy Murray in the first round of the tournament.
Following fitness and injury concerns all year, Verdasco was disqualified from the French Open for testing positive for COVID-19. He vehemently protested his ejection though, given that he tested negative shortly after.
Verdasco was able to put that controversy and the negative press out of his mind on Tuesday, as he put up a vintage performance to defeat Andy Murray in straight sets. That win, against a formidable opponent like Murray, will have given the Spaniard some much-needed confidence ahead of the battle against Zverev.
Alexander Zverev vs Fernando Verdasco head-to-head
The meeting in Cologne is the sixth between the two players. Alexander Zverev leads the head-to-head 3-2 over Fernando Verdasco, with the pair's most recent encounter coming in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open - which Zverev won comfortably.
Their last meeting at an indoor hardcourt tournament came at the Paris Masters in 2019, which was another straight-sets win for Zverev.
Alexander Zverev vs Fernando Verdasco prediction
Despite his recent health issues, Alexander Zverev comes into the match as the overwhelming favorite over Fernando Verdasco - who has played just two matches since the lockdown.
However, the Spaniard's win against Murray showed that he is unlikely to be a pushover. Verdasco used his strong forehand and serve effectively to outplay the Scot, and he will be looking to do the same against Zverev.
All things considered though, Zverev should have enough consistency and serving superiority to douse the challenge of Verdasco.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.Published 14 Oct 2020, 18:58 IST