SI.com Staff
Tuesday January 19th, 2016

On Tuesday at the 2016 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will take on on fellow Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco in the opening round. These two played one of the greatest matches in Australian Open history—a brutal five-set battle in the 2009 semifinals. After more than five hours on court in the sweltering Melbourne heata, Nadal prevailed 6–7, 6–4, 7–6, 6–7, 6–4. Nadal leads their head-to-head 14–2, but Verdasco has won two of their last three meetings, including their last hard court meeting. How do they match up? Verdasco was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world back in 2009 and has the bigger serve, but Nadal has better return game. Both have huge forehands but in the past, Nadal has been just too solid.

Check SI.com's Australian Open Daily Data Viz hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for the Australian Open. IBM captures and analyzes the data that powers all of the Grand Slams, as well as the digital platforms that extend the experience to fans around the world.

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