Ion Tiriac had been dreaming of this moment for months. Finally, vindication was at hand, and all of the haters and whiners and traditionalist nitwits could stuff it. A left-handed Spanish star was on his knees, kissing the beautiful, slippery blue clay inside his Caja Magica. Then Tiriac stuck his monocle in his eye and jutted his walrus-stache out to have a closer look.
“Huh. Verdasco,” he finally grunted. “Well, it’s a start.”
Yes, Fernando Verdasco thanked the blue clay for letting him stay on his feet long enough to record his first win over Rafael Nadal in 14 tries. It wasn’t a pretty affair, closer to the lead balloon these two tossed up in Cincy last summer than their supersonic semi from the 2009 Australian Open. But credit Verdasco for seeing his opportunity, throwing off his usual gloomy doubts and second-guesses, and seizing it.