This week the ATP circuit got to participate in the Miami tournament. It hasn't been the best tournament for the Spanish players, but regardless having a spaniard still present in the tournament at the semi-final stages is never a bad thing. Hopefully Nadal can go on and win the tournament
Santiago Ventura had a disappointing tournament. He lost in the first round to Jose Acasuso, 6-2 6-4. But saying that, Acasuso was in some great form, beating a higher ranked opponent in Hewitt, and only losing to Roger Federer. Another tournament disappointment was Tommy Robredo. After his first round bye, he lost in 2 easy sets to Dudi Sela, 7-6 6-1. Tommy has had a really disappointing start to the year, so hopefully he can find some form soon.
For more disappointments, Fernando Verdasco also lost in the second round, after having a first round bye, to Janko Tipsarevic (who went on to the quarter finals) 6-4 7-6. But the surprising early loss was in fifth seed David Ferrer, who lost to Thomas Johansson 6-4 7-5. So far, 4 Spaniards were not able to win one match here.
The bottom half of the draw was slightly more successful. Feliciano Lopez had a rather decent tournament, beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-2, but going down to Dmitry Tursunov 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the third round. Juan Carlos Ferrero had similar results, also reaching the third round. After a first round bye, he disposed of Albert Montanes (Montanes beat Kei Nishikori, a new talented player who recently won at Delray Beach) 6-3 6-2, but couldn't do the same against Tomas Berdych (who currently remains in the tournament at the semi-final stage) 6-1 6-3. This was a disappointing match for Ferrero, but at least his ranking will go up to around 20.
Oscar Hernandez lost in the first round to Xavier Malisse 6-1 6-1. Carlos Moya managed a third round appearance, beating Nicolas Mahut 7-6 6-4, but then losing to Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 7-5. But Rafael Nadal saved the Spaniards from a devastating week. In the 2nd round he beat Benjamin Becker 7-5 6-2, in the 3rd round Nicolas Kiefer 6-2 6-4. In the 4th round Rafa avenged Moya's loss, beating Mathieu 6-4 6-4. Then the quarter final stage brought Nadal up against local favourite James Blake, but he wasn't good enough on the day, with Nadal emerging the victor 3-6 6-3 6-1. He now faces Tomas Berdych in the semi's, and with Roger Federer now out of the tournament, Rafa has a real shot at winning.
Like many other Spaniards this week, Nicolas Almagro lost in the third round, but not without drama. After beating Arnaud Clement 6-2 6-2, Almagro came up against Mikhail Youzhny. He lost 7-6 3-6 7-6, but this match was not without drama. At one point in the late third set, Youzhny lost a point to Almagro, and got so frustrated that he began smashing the racquet into his head, causing it to bleed. It had to be treated on court, and Almagro couldn't believe what he was seeing. This stopped play, and the momentum that Nicolas had was lost. This event made worldwide news, and is an extremely popular video on youtube.
Next week, one of the events that can be contested is in Valencia, Spain. The field here is strong, and the claycourts always bring out the best in the Spaniards, so hopefully next weeks result can be better. At least we can be thankful that no Spaniards lost to the bye this week.
More from Valencia and the rest of Nadal's Miami results next weekend.