Nico "Superstar" Almagro def Potito Starace 4-6 6-2 6-1 to defend his Valencia title [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Nico "Superstar" Almagro def Potito Starace 4-6 6-2 6-1 to defend his Valencia title

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Congrats Nico for defending his Valencia title and a good week for Starace as well.

Not a fan of the attitude, but when he is concentrated on playing, he is good to watch.

Grinder
04-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Nico successfully defends his Valencia title. Almagro is now on a 13 match winning streak in Valencia (he won the title last year as a qualifier). A surprisingly good recovery from Nico, he started out 3-0* in the first set and went on to lose 5 straight games. However, he picked his game up and tore Starace apart the last two sets. Let's hope Almagro can keep up his winning ways and keep it going deep into Roland Garros.
:woohoo:

dijus
04-15-2007, 04:45 PM
:woohoo:
congratulations Nico ;) defending title is much harder than winning it 1st time ! bravo !
:banana:

Voo de Mar
04-15-2007, 04:48 PM
Starace's first defeat after 9 consecutive wins. After all impressive run for him.

MariaV
04-15-2007, 04:57 PM
Pathetic Potito.

Xavidbz
04-15-2007, 04:59 PM
Congrats Nico! :yeah:

tcorinna
04-15-2007, 05:06 PM
Congrats Almagro ... Now I'm watching the match on Eurosport :umbrella:

justClaudia
04-15-2007, 05:09 PM
:yeah:

Mr Brightside
04-15-2007, 05:28 PM
Poto :fiery:

stebs
04-15-2007, 05:31 PM
Good win for Superstar. We'll see how he fares at MC with his tough first round match. I think an SF is not out of his reach but a first round loss wouldn't be a shock either. I think Almagro is one who may actually be able to contend with Nadal if he played great despite the H-2-H which would suggest otherwise.

Adler
04-15-2007, 05:32 PM
He's won, but he's a hell of a headcase

BTW : why 'superstar' ?

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 05:34 PM
He's won, but he's a hell of a headcase

BTW : why 'superstar' ?

The attitude, his nickname is Mucho, this could be either for his talent and his ego. Basically he thinks he is the superstar, without delivering the results of a superstar.

Tennis-Engineer
04-15-2007, 05:36 PM
Well done Nico

From sportingo.com:


Nicolas Almagro - Spain's forgotten tennis ace

He's a king on clay, but does the Valencia Open finalist have a chip on his shoulder as well?

The Valencia Open finalists have been determined – Nicolas Almagro and Potito Starace, who respectively beat Santiago Ventura and Ivan Navarro Pastor in Saturday's semis. “Who,” you may ask? Let’s just say that Valencia’s tournament director is going to need all of his marketing savvy to hawk the unsold tickets for Sunday's final.

Almagro is the defending champion at Valencia, and it was this time last year that the tennis world started to take notice of the Spaniard when he took the tournament as a qualifier. Really, before Novak Djokovic started getting the publicity, Almagro was the talk of the town – I even dedicated an article to him last year. In that piece, I spoke to the ability of Nicolas to possibly upend superior players on clay, due to his inherent natural abilities on the surface.

Since then, I’ve seen Almagro in action a few times – most notably against Roger Federer in Miami. But I do recall seeing highlights of Almagro in some of the clay Masters Series tournaments last year, and his shot selection and execution were splendid. He has power as well as precision. But does he also have a chip on his shoulder?

Almagro might think so, only because he’s been largely cast aside in favour of other new kids on the block that include Djokovic, Andy Murray, Sam Querrey and others. His play hasn’t garnered him the headlines or the hardware as consistently as the bigger young guns, but he has had some impressive results since his breakthrough performance in Valencia last year:

Barcelona ‘06: Semi-final (lost to Nadal - #1 seed)
AMS Rome ‘06: Quarter-final (lost to Federer - #1 seed)
Palmero ‘06: Semi-final (lost to Volandri - #2 seed)
Buenos Aires ‘07: Semi-final (lost to Juan Monaco - unranked)
Nobody is going to take Almagro as a serious all-court threat, as all of these results were on clay. But he shouldn’t be overlooked in the upcoming clay season when all the attention will be on Rafael Nadal, Federer, Guillermo Canas and the more notable names.

At the beginning of last year, Almagro was ranked at 114 in the world, but thanks to the above performances, he finished the year at #32, and has hovered along the top 30 since then (a career-highest was 28; currently he is ranked 31). During this span, Almagro disposed of household names such as Marat Safin (Valencia '06), Juan Carlos Ferrero (Valencia and Barcelona '06), Nikolay Davydenko (Rome '06), Tomas Berdych (Bastad '06), and Juan Ignacio Chela (Buenos Aires '07).

Almagro likely isn't held with the same esteem as phenoms like Murray and Djokovic because he hasn't been able to produce similarly outstanding results on all surfaces. But for the Spaniard, while becoming a better all-around player would of course be nice, I would be willing to wager that the French Open is his ultimate dream. A title defence in Valencia, which is his to lose at this point, would go a long way to making believers.

Almagro likely isn't held with the same esteem as phenoms like Murray and Djokovic because he hasn't been able to produce similarly outstanding results on all surfaces. But for Almagro, while becoming a better all-around player would of course be nice, I would be willing to wager the the French Open is his ultimate dream. A title defence in Valencia, which is his to lose at this point, would go a long way to making believers.

MariaV
04-15-2007, 05:36 PM
The attitude, his nickname is Mucho, this could be either for his talent and his ego. Basically he thinks he is the superstar, without delivering the results of a superstar.

You know George, I started to call Almagro the Punk after him beating Marat in Valencia semis last year.

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 05:40 PM
You know George, I started to call Almagro the Punk after him beating Marat in Valencia semis last year.

Yes and Safin has never been an arsehole on court. Almagro has been in a few scraps and he said he was favourite to win here and surprise surprise he won.

As for what stebs said, he is still inconsistent.

MariaV
04-15-2007, 05:42 PM
Yes and Safin has never been an arsehole on court.

I admit he has been, no problem. :D I don't idealize him.

Merton
04-15-2007, 05:48 PM
Congrats Mucho, he is great to watch when he is on and hilarious when he is off, sometimes those happen during different times in the same match. It is good that he backed his statement but for me the most interesting thing is that he won without playing anything close to his best. Lets see how he does for the rest of the season.

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 05:54 PM
Congrats Mucho, he is great to watch when he is on and hilarious when he is off, sometimes those happen during different times in the same match. It is good that he backed his statement but for me the most interesting thing is that he won without playing anything close to his best. Lets see how he does for the rest of the season.

It's bad luck he plays the Berdman in the 1st round. When you have a clay clown classic like ToJo and Becker.

Merton
04-15-2007, 06:07 PM
It's bad luck he plays the Berdman in the 1st round. When you have a clay clown classic like ToJo and Becker.

I know, especially at a time when Tomas needs the win big time for his confidence. Actually I don't mind Almagro at all, even though he often acts as a big clown. I just hope the winner goes deep there, but somehow I see Robredo strong from that section of the draw.:banghead:

The thing is that last year superstar played great tennis in Valencia and actually was not that far off against both Nadal and Federer. Then comes the French Open and he decides that he is too macho and can hit the ball bigger than Blake, and that was an excellent match plan :lol:

Alvarillo
04-15-2007, 06:10 PM
Nico, breat match
I knew he couldn't lose in front of Prince Felipe :lol:
Congrats! ;) :worship:

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 06:11 PM
I know, especially at a time when Tomas needs the win big time for his confidence. Actually I don't mind Almagro at all, even though he often acts as a big clown. I just hope the winner goes deep there, but somehow I see Robredo strong from that section of the draw.:banghead:

The thing is that last year superstar played great tennis in Valencia and actually was not that far off against both Nadal and Federer. Then comes the French Open and he decides that he is too macho and can hit the ball bigger than Blake, and that was an excellent match plan :lol:

I like Mucho's game a lot, very heavy serve and gets good angle and the backhand, but we'll see what happens here for sure.

Yes, he held his form well until when booming ball bashing Blake was in the mood and Mucho played like a tactical gnat and got punished for it.

stebs
04-15-2007, 06:15 PM
As for what stebs said, he is still inconsistent.

That's true but it is actually unlikely that a consistent player will ever beat Nadal on clay. Federer may do it at some point but we all know that he is a pretty special player. On the whole it tends to be people who blow hot and cold who can outplay Nadal. What I see for Almagro is a big serve which Nadal struggles with, attacking strokes on both wings which don't buckle under pressure in a point (although mentally Almagro is surely frustrated by Nadal) and this goes with being a good mover on the surface. I am not saying he would win an encounter but for me an in form Almagro is as big a threat as Nadal is likely to face other than Federer this clay season.

scoobs
04-15-2007, 06:30 PM
Brilliant at times from Almagro but the basic problem that he's still a little too keen on being flashy and is still a little too inconsistent at times - he's made rather a meal out of the draw this week considering the ranking of his opponents - dropping a set to Ventura and another to Starace, and he probably should have won them both. He went alarmingly away with the fairies today for 5 straight games from 3-0 up in the first and it cost him the set - and better opponents than Starace will punish him even more for that sort of thing.

Really he's going to be hard pushed to make a real impact on the clay unless he can take his mental focus and consistency up a notch or two from where it's at right now. Having said all that, when he does get in the mood he can play some breathtaking tennis.

Action Jackson
04-15-2007, 06:30 PM
That's true but it is actually unlikely that a consistent player will ever beat Nadal on clay. Federer may do it at some point but we all know that he is a pretty special player. On the whole it tends to be people who blow hot and cold who can outplay Nadal. What I see for Almagro is a big serve which Nadal struggles with, attacking strokes on both wings which don't buckle under pressure in a point (although mentally Almagro is surely frustrated by Nadal) and this goes with being a good mover on the surface. I am not saying he would win an encounter but for me an in form Almagro is as big a threat as Nadal is likely to face other than Federer this clay season.

You need a form of consistency when playing Nadal. Yes, that overlaps with patience before executing the plans. Almagro doesn't have a big serve, he has a heavy serve that's the difference, quick enough, but not a big enough.

He has to be consistent enough to wait for his chance before he punishes a short ball and doesn't try to be macho.

Burrow
04-15-2007, 06:42 PM
Potito fell asleep after that first set where he won 5 games in a row!!!

ChinoRios4Ever
04-15-2007, 07:09 PM
congrats "hardhitting" Nico for the back to back :yeah:

Deivid23
04-15-2007, 11:03 PM
Congrats Mucho, it would have been a worrying sign if you couldn´t win this event.

The funniest thing came after the match when Mucho pretended to be a humble young boy during his speech (he said he couldn´t believe he was there again as a winner a year after :lol:, good try, Mucho)

RickDaStick
04-15-2007, 11:04 PM
AlMUGro is overrated.

Deivid23
04-15-2007, 11:06 PM
Almagro doesn't have a big serve, he has a heavy serve that's the difference, quick enough, but not a big enough.

That serve is brutal and itīs getting better which is scary. Itīs a heavy one most of the times, he puts a lot of kick on it but he also can hit it flat and hard over 220 km/h so Iīd say itīs also a pretty big/quick serve. If only he had some brain on court and a more humble attitude he would be probably second to none on clay

DhammaTiger
04-16-2007, 01:21 AM
Congrats to Nico :worship: :hatoff: I really like him having seen him in Stuttgart 2004. I videoed his practice games and he was quite affable.

Action Jackson
04-16-2007, 05:32 AM
That serve is brutal and itīs getting better which is scary. Itīs a heavy one most of the times, he puts a lot of kick on it but he also can hit it flat and hard over 220 km/h so Iīd say itīs also a pretty big/quick serve. If only he had some brain on court and a more humble attitude he would be probably second to none on clay

So he has got more stick on his serve now? He gets a lot of kick and it's hard enough to get them out of position and then dominate from there. With him it's not about the ability, it's up in that big head of his.

BaselineSmash
04-16-2007, 01:24 PM
Starace really wilted physically after the first set, which didn't make for a very good final. Best player won, however, and it will be very interesting to see what kind of inroads Almagro can make in the upcoming TMSs.