The 35-year-old Fernando Verdasco has been one of the most consistent players on the Tour in the last 15 years, entering the top-100 in March 2004 and staying there ever since! The Spaniard has won more than 530 matches on the ATP Tour, 107 at Grand Slams and 127 at Masters 1000 level, lifting seven ATP titles from 23 finals, none since Bucharest 2016.
A left-hander with booming forehand and the excellent overall package has not been able to make an extra step in his game and challenge the players from the top regularly, scoring 28 top-10 wins from 132 clashes but always bringing his best to keep a decent ranking position.
Despite that, Fernando was world no. 7 in 2009 after reaching the Australian Open semi-final where he lost to Rafael Nadal after an epic battle, holding the third-longest run with consecutive weeks in the top-100 behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Entering Rome with a mediocre 11-10 score, Verdasco played on a high level to grab three wins over Kyle Edmund, Dominic Thiem and Karen Khachanov, advancing into the first Masters 1000 quarter-final since Paris 2017 where Rafael Nadal defeated him 6-4, 6-0.
Alongside notable result, Fernando became only the fourth player in the Open era with 400 ATP tournaments played after Fabrice Santoro, Feliciano Lopez and Mikhail Youzhny! Making an ATP debut in Estoril 17 years ago, Verdasco played 13 events in the following 2003 while turning 20 and opted for a packed schedule year after year to find himself on that exclusive list.
Between 2004-18, Verdasco competed in at least 20 ATP events every year, counting to 28 in 2008 and 2018 and never missing the action for a more extended period due to injuries. Also, the Spaniard made a Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon 2003 and hasn't missed a single tournament on the biggest stage ever since, competing in all of them in the last 16 years to stand on 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances, moving into the second place on the Open era list together with Roger Federer.
Verdasco will kick off the 65th Grand Slam tournament against Kamil Majchrzak on Monday and will have the opportunity to become the leader of the pack in 2021 if he avoids injuries, with Feliciano Lopez currently playing the 70th consecutive Grand Slam event, receiving a wild card for Wimbledon.
The older Spaniard will perform at the US Open as well after that title he won at Queen's a week ago although Verdasco should be able to fight with him for that leading spot in the next couple of years, eager to extend the career as long as possible.