Adidas has created a new ad to cheer on Madrid-native, Fernando Verdasco, ahead of next week’s Madrid Masters. It’s also a good promo for the sportswear company’s Player Development Program, which got some major press when adidas-paid gurus Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes mentored Nando into the semifinals of the 2009 Australian Open. According to Verdasco News:
“The campaign uses the slogan ’seize of the mind, to take control of the court,’ the words of Fernando’s fitness trainer Gil Reyes.”
Nikolay Davydenko had his own slogan for the Spaniard after beating him at this year’s Australian Open: “He’s tough physically, but not mentally”:
Q. He (Verdasco) has a reputation of being one of the strongest and fittest players on tour. How much inspiration can you draw from winning in the fifth set?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: He’s strong physically, but not mentally. For sure he was strong. For sure he can play five, six, sets. But concentration you can’t holding, you know, all five sets the same. That’s was I know he have power in the fifth set, but he can make mistake. . .Always, I know ‑‑ and if you see was today, I know Verdasco well. Always if I go until 4 or 5‑All and then I have chance to break him and then winning like every end of set. Today it’s was surprising I didn’t make it in the third and fourth set.
“To all who thought you knew Fernando, to all who praised or criticized him, to all of you, I’m sorry to say that the Fernando you knew is no longer among us.
Forget the tennis that made him think small, forget that shy drive, that insecurity showing, how his arm flinched, why he went to pieces. The answers don’t matter anymore. Excuses. Living in the past does not do us any good, trust me, I know what I’m talking about.
If we all learn from his mistakes and his defeats, we’ll make Spanish tennis even greater.
And you Fernando, you have found the new Verdasco, you are going to change your world because you’ll never feel again that you can’t. You found yourself and that is wonderful. Show your country what you are capable of. And remember that your mind is your best weapon, so take control of the court.
It’s your city, it’s your court, it’s your tournament.”
No pressure or anything. . .
But Fernando says he’s ready for the pressure. He recently told Spanish media that he plans to be in the Top 5 this year and doesn’t fear anyone on clay but his countryman Rafael Nadal:
“The last three weeks have given me great confidence, I have improved my self-esteem and I hope to be playing in the final in Roland Garros. If I have Nadal in my side of the draw, of course it will be very difficult. But with Federer, Djokovic or Murray, I think I have the potential to reach the final.”
The Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open begins May 9th. Click here to check out its truly diabolical website – yes it’s even crazier than last year’s.
Nando vid first spotted via GreatTennisPhotos.net