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Beyond the Baseline

Fernando Verdasco melts down in loss at German Tennis Championships

Fernando Verdasco melted down on the court and apparently in the locker room in a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (8), 6-4 loss to Federico Delbonis in the quarterfinals of the German Tennis Championships on Friday in Hamburg.

In the second set of a roller-coaster match, the 34th-ranked Verdasco went 0-for-10 on break points and was unable to convert two match points against a qualifier ranked No. 114. At 8-8 in the tiebreaker, the 29-year-old Spaniard tried to serve-and-volley and Delbonis blistered a backhand return right past him. The 22-year-old Argentine secured the set on the next point with a forehand winner that clipped the baseline.

For Verdasco, the meltdown was on.

Verdasco smacked his racket to the court and screamed at his box as he walked back to his chair. He then left the court for a bathroom break. When he returned, the left-hander asked to see the trainer and was allowed a medical timeout for treatment on an apparent right-hand injury. The tournament's official Twitter account later confirmed the world-feed commentators' revelation that Verdasco had injured his hand after punching a locker during his break.

Here's video of the lead-up and aftermath of Verdasco's locker-room visit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w2fotLB1BQ&feature=youtu.be

Verdasco continued to lose his composure in the third set. With Delbonis serving at 3-3, deuce after breaking the previous game to get back on serve, Verdasco sent a forehand return long and smashed the ball into the crowd in frustration. The umpire issued a code violation for ball abuse, and because it was Verdasco's second code violation of the match, he was issued a point penalty, giving the game to Delbonis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wo-tIIJzWs&feature=youtu.be

Verdasco was broken at love in the next game, only to break back when Delbonis served for the match. But Verdasco eventually double-faulted on match point to end the three-hour, 15-minute match. Delbonis advanced to his first ATP Tour semifinal, where he'll play either Roger Federer or Florian Mayer.

Verdasco withdrew from his doubles match later Friday. He also tweeted that he would miss next week's Croatia Open because of an injury.
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