Fernando wrote an article for the UK’s Daily Mail Online about his hopes for the upcoming Wimbledon Championships, and a little about where he stays, what he eats and what his practice routine is like during the grass Slam.
WIMBLEDON 2010: Fernando Verdasco: A house near SW19? No way, who’d do the cleaning?
Being from Madrid and growing up on hard courts, it’s always tough getting used to the grass after a year away. But you must do it as soon as possible, because this is the most important tournament. If I could pick a Grand Slam to win, it would be Wimbledon.
My preparation has been hard this year because I finished the French Open with a foot injury and had to pull out of Queen’s, but I’m feeling fine now.
I arrived in London last Tuesday and played exhibition matches at the Boodles tournament at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire on Friday and Saturday to get the rhythm of grass.
There are so many traditional things that make Wimbledon so special: how beautiful it is, the grass and the buildings; that they won’t let you have sponsors on your kit; all the players have to play in white; and that they serve strawberries and cream.
I’ve reached the fourth round three times now, but I’ve got sad memories of SW19 because I’ve lost big matches when I had really good chances to win.
They’re the hardest losses to take, probably the hardest of my career.
I was two sets to one up against Radek Stepanek and 3-0 up in the fourth in 2006, but failed to reach the quarter-finals. Then, in 2008, I was two sets and a break up against Mario Ancic and I lost 13-11 in the fifth.
They were really tough experiences for me. I’ve never played against Fabio Fognini, my first-round opponent, on grass before, although I beat him on clay in Acapulco, Mexico, this year.
But if all goes well, I could meet Andy Murray in the quarter-finals. I’m really looking forward to trying to make that happen.
It would be such a great experience to play the British No 1 at Wimbledon. If I reached that far, it would be one of those matches you keep in your memory for the rest of your life.
I know what it’s like to have your home crowd willing you on from the matches I’ve played in Madrid. It’s a great feeling, but it makes you feel more pressure because you want to win so badly — a bit like England or Spain in the World Cup.
I watched Spain’s first match and, of course, I would like to see all the matches — but I’ll put the tennis first.
My family are coming over for the tournament and we prefer to stay in a hotel in central London, rather than a house in Wimbledon village, because there are so many of us.
It’s a bit quieter. There will be around eight of us this year: my parents, my little sister, my cousin, a couple of friends and my fitness coach.
We had the chance to get a house near the All England Club this year, but my father didn’t really like the idea. It would be difficult to find somewhere to eat every night, plus we would have to clean and look after the house — and we don’t want to be doing that!
In the evenings, we like to go and have dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Kensington.
The owner is a friend of mine and knows all the Spanish players.
We go there quite a lot during the tournament. Wherever we are in the world, we normally go to Italian restaurants and eat plenty of carbohydrates but here, since we’ve found this restaurant, we can eat our own food, such as Spanish ham and tortillas.
We spend so much time out of Spain, it’s nice to find a piece of home. I also enjoy the strawberries and cream at the Club, although the cream isn’t too healthy. I can’t be having too much of that!
My day-to-day routine varies. It depends on the draw. We’ll go to Wimbledon and hit in the morning, then warm up and play a match. My best friend on tour is Feliciano Lopez, but I practise with a lot of different players.
If we have any free time, we might go for a walk down Oxford Street and do a bit of shopping. But in Grand Slams you must really focus all your energy on the tournament.
You just have to play and practice and then rest. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain too much!
(via daily mail)