Last week we were fortunate enough to have 2 Spaniards in the Costa Do Sauipe final, with Nicolas Almagro following up on his brillaint Davis Cup form to defeat compatriot Carlos Moya. Both guys had a brilliant week. This is Almagro's first title outside Spain, which will hopefully be followed up by many more. Considering his good form, this is very possible.
This week, the boys had a choice to play in 3 events; San Jose, Rotterdam and Buenos Aires. In San Jose, only one Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia Lopez competed. He's very capable of upsetting players higher ranked than himself, and in this case it was the 6th seeded Austrian, Jurgen Melzer, who was defeated by Guillermo 6-2 6-7 7-6 in a tough 3 set match. Guillermo then followed up his win with a victory over German Benjamin Becker, beating him 3-6 7-6 6-4. Guillermo will now play the tall American, John Isner, who's had some impressive form beating Tommy Haas in the 2nd round. It should be a great match, and the results of this match will be featured in next week's blog.
7 Spanish players decided they would attempt to tango their way into success at the next tournament in the Latin American claycourt swing, Buenos Aires. Santiago Ventura succumbed to Juan Ignatio Chela, who's been in rather poor form lately, in 3 tough sets, going down 5-7 6-3 6-2. Oscar Hernandez beat 1ucky loser Eric Prodon 6-4 6-3. which set up a 2nd round clash with Nicolas Almagro. Almagro appears to be unstoppable lately. In the 1st round he beat Martin Vassallo-Arguello 7-6 7-6, and in the 2nd round beat Oscar 6-2 2-6 6-3. (More on Almagro's progress in this tournament in next week's blog). Albert Montanes fell to Igor Andreev in a very tough match, 6-3 6-7 7-6. In the battle of the Spanish Qualifiers, Daniel Gimeno-Traver defeated Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo 2-6 6-1 6-2, but was then demolished by Jose Acasuso in the second round 6-3 6-4. The surprise of the tournament was Carlos Moya, finalist in Brazil, falling first round to Acasuso 6-2 6-4. He probably needs a bit of rest, but will be back fighting in weeks to come. Good luck to Almagro as the only remaining Spaniard in this tournament.
Concerning Rotterdam, I'm really not sure how to describe this tournament? It's possibly best to say it was a very disappointing tournament for all the Spanish players, with a whole lot of upsets and dramas included. Not one Spaniard made it into the quarter final stage of the tournament, considering 3 out of 8 seeds were Spanish, and there were 6 highly ranked Spaniards in the tournament. The number 1 seed, Rafael Nadal beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 6-4, but fell to Andreas Seppi 3-6 6-3 6-4. Fernando Verdasco beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 6-2, but lost to Robin Soderling 6-4 6-1. Feliciano Lopez lost first round to 6-3 6-4 (possibly because he was eager to get off court in order to resume staring at himself in the mirror). Tommy Robredo, unseeded in this tournament, lost to Nicolas Mahut 7-5 6-4. Mahut his been in some very impressive form lately, but it's still a disappointing loss. It's rumoured that Tommy has a slight back injury, forcing him and Rafael to pull out of the doubles after beating Verdasco/Lopez in the first round of action. The number 7 seed, Juan Carlos Ferrero also suffered a surprising first round loss against Teimuraz Gabashvili 7-5 6-1. However he was suffering from food poisoning, which explains the loss. (Get well soon JC!) At least 3rd seed, David Ferrer got past the 1st round, beating Bolleli 6-4 7-5. However he lost to Mischa Zverev 6-2 7-5. Despite many disappointing losses, this tournament wasn't just unlucky for the Spaniards, no seeded players made the quarter final at all. A tournament with a promising field didn't seem to live up to it's reputation. Hopefully our Spanish boys will have much more success in the coming weeks.