• Ferrer faces Verdasco in all-Spanish clash

    5/14/13 9:29 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer faces Verdasco in all-Spanish clash An all-Spanish affair pits David Ferrer against Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday in Rome. Philipp Kohlschreiber and Albert Ramos are also looking for a spot in the third round.

    (4) David Ferrer vs. Fernando Verdasco

    Verdasco and Ferrer will be squaring off for the 16th time in their careers when the two Spaniards collide in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Wednesday afternoon. Ferrer leads the head-to-head series 8-7, but Verdasco holds a 6-5 edge in clay-court encounters. They last met at the same stage of this same tournament in 2012, when Ferrer prevailed 6-3, 7-6(3). Their most memorable showdown came in round four of the 2010 U.S. Open, with Verdasco pulling out an epic 5-7, 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory.

    Neither man has set the tennis world on fire in 2013, but a clear edge in current form goes to Ferrer. The world No. 4 is 30-8 for the season, which includes two titles and three runner-up finishes (including one in Miami). Verdasco is a horrendous 6-9 for the year, but he is actually showing signs of improvement. The world No. 53 advanced two rounds last week in Madrid and he beat Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in his Rome opener on Tuesday. Verdasco has the firepower to make this competitive, but Ferrer should get the job done in three sets.

    Albert Ramos vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber

    Ramos and Kohlschreiber will be facing each other for the first time in their careers on Wednesday. Both players have heated up nicely in 2013. Ramos lost his his first four matches of the season but he has since reached three quarterfinals (including in Barcelona) and the second round in Monte-Carlo as a qualifier. The 65th-ranked Spaniard improved to 16-12 for the year with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Jan Hajek on Monday.

    A leg injury sustained during Davis Cup hampered Kohlschreiber throughout February and March, but he is back on track on the slow stuff. The 22nd-ranked German advanced two rounds in Monte-Carlo, made it to the semis in Barcelona, and he finished runner-up in Munich. Kohlschreiber opened in Rome with a 7-6(2), 6-4 upset of No. 14 seed Milos Raonic. Finally playing with a bunch of confidence, Kohlschreiber should use his one-handed backhand to see him through to a three-set triumph.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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