• Verdasco takes on Smyczek in San Jose opener

    2/12/13 5:19 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Verdasco takes on Smyczek in San Jose opener Fernando Verdasco will kick off his San Jose campaign on Tuesday. Up first for the Spaniard is in-form American qualifier Tim Smyczek.

    Fernando Verdasco and Tim Smyczek will be facing each other for the first time in their careers when they collide in round one of the SAP Open on Tuesday night.

    Smyczek is off to a solid start in 2013. He lost in the USTA wild card playoffs for the Australian Open and also fell in qualifying but he ended up getting a lucky loser spot, upsetting Ivo Karlovic, then taking David Ferrer to four sets. Registering two spots off his career-high ranking at No. 105 in the world, Smyczek reached the semis of the Maui Challenger last month and he has already gone through qualifying in San Jose.

    Verdasco played decent tennis in Melbourne, where he ousted David Goffin and Xavier Malisse before losing in five sets to Kevin Anderson. The fifth-seeded Spaniard is a modest 2-2 for the season and he has not played since the Australian Open.

    Smyczek is match tough at the moment, so this will not be a walk in the park for the favorite. A quick indoor hard court should help Verdasco hold off the challenger in three sets.

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