Last week, following his thorough thrashing at the hands of Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo, Fernando Verdasco joked that he and the rest of the tour had a chance to win there if Nadal ever got tired of it. 

He obviously had a point, as Nadal skipped Barcelona this week, passing up on a chance to win it for the sixth time (the same number of Monte Carlo crowns he's won), giving Verdy the opportunity to take the title for himself. 

He capitalized, outlasting his countryman David Ferrer in the semis and Rafa's Roland Garros conqueror from 2009, Robin Soderling, in the final. The victory in this latest encounter proves Verdasco's first-strike capability and his fitness are still as effective as ever. 

But his ability to recover from the beating Nadal foisted on him last week is what's most impressive. Verdasco may not go into the RG as a favorite (not while Rafa isn't tired of winning there, at least) but he should have a long, productive career ahead of him.