• Verdasco, Goffin set for rematch of five-setter

    5/4/13 9:31 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Verdasco, Goffin set for rematch of five-setter Fernando Verdasco hopes to emerge from a slump as he kicks off his Madrid campaign on Sunday against David Goffin. Verdasco beat Goffin in five sets earlier this year in Melbourne.

    Fernando Verdasco and David Goffin will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they meet in round one of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday afternoon. Verdasco won their only previous encounter 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier this season at the Australian Open.

    Both players are in dire need of a win followed by a decent run this week. Verdasco is a horrendous 3-8 for his 2013 campaign, including 1-7 in his last eight matches. The Spaniard, who has plunged to No. 45 in the world, has lost his opener in six of eight tournaments this year. Verdasco is 1-3 on clay in 2013 and all of his losses have come in straight sets.

    Goffin is just 7-12 for the year, but he is at least starting to win some matches after a disastrous February. The 61st-ranked Belgian reached the third round in Miami and second rounds at clay-court events in both Bucharest and Oeiras. He beat Pedro Sousa last week before succumbing to eventual semifinalist Pablo-Carreno Busta in three sets.

    Verdasco has an advantage in that he is playing at home and he has been to the Madrid quarterfinals twice in the last four installments, including last season on blue clay after upsetting Rafael Nadal. The former world No. 7, however, is a player who feeds off confidence and right now he has none of it. Look for Goffin to score a measure of revenge after three tight sets.

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