Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer have both enjoyed productive weeks in Sweden. The two players are into the semifinals of Atp Bastad 2017 (SkiStar Swedish Open) and each has to be feeling as though he has a good chance to win the title. Given that neither player has a title so far this season, each will definitely be putting forward a maximum effort to change that this weekend. They will meet in the semifinal round of Bastad on Saturday with a spot in the final at stake.

Ferrer had the edge

On head-to-heads, it's Ferrer that has the clear advantage. However, their history against one another over what has been numerous years on tour has not been totally one sided.

Ferrer leads Verdasco 13-7 with the two players last meeting in 2015.

While there is some parity between the two players, if you look at some trends within the overall trend than a couple certainly strongly imply a Ferrer victory on Saturday in Sweden. Firstly, Ferrer has beaten Verdasco in every match that they have played since the round of sixteen at the 2010 US Open. That gives Ferrer an active winning streak against his countryman of nine straight matches (plus one walkover). Secondly, Ferrer has won four straight on clay against Verdasco, a trend that dates back to the 2010 clay-court season.

The top seed in Bastad, Pablo Carreno Busta, went out very early in the draw this week. That certainly has opened up an opportunity for a lower-ranked player to win the title at the 250-level tournament.

The survivor of the Ferrer/Verdasco match will still have a difficult opponent to face in the final. The other semifinal will feature Andrey Kuznetsov and Alexandr Dolgopolov. The former has no career titles to date while the latter has three in his career. Earlier this season, he enjoyed a victory at Buenos Aires on the clay-court surface.

In that tournament's final, he defeated top-ten player Kei Nishikori.

What the title would mean for each player

ATP Bastad, as a 250-level event, is among the lowest-tiered tournaments at the tour level (ie. higher than the challenger level). It doesn't offer a ton of ranking points, even to the champion.

However, 250 ranking points can still mean a lot to players outside of the top 15 on tour. If either Verdasco or Ferrer should win the title, then he would stand an improved chance at getting seeded at the 2017 US Open. Meanwhile, Kuznetsov and Dolgopolov are ranked so low that just making the semifinals will help either one of them out a lot when the rankings update on Monday. A title for either would place him close to the top 50 with implications for direct qualification into some small-field yet well-contested events on tour.

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