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Welcome to my blog everyone. This blog will focus on anything to do with Spanish tennis, including the progress of the players (not just those ranked highly, but also the lower ranked guys) in the ATP tournaments each week, and also what the Spanish players have done off court. This will be a weekly blog, and I'll update it once the majority or results are in each week.

Last week the Spanish team, consisting of Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez played their first tie of the Davis Cup, against Peru. Even though Spain had the added difficulty of playing their tie in Peru, the Spanish boys were extremely impressive, not dropping a set in any of their 5 rubbers. On day one of action, Almagro never succumbed to the pressure of playing for his country, and he defeated Matias Silva 6-3 7-5 6-0 in his first ever Davis Cup match. Following that match, Tommy Robredo disposed of Luis Horna 6-3 6-2 6-2. On day 2, Fernando and Feliciano took on the Peruvian pairing of Horna and Miranda, and emerged victorious with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 win, securing them the tie. However Spain wasn't content with just securing the tie, they wanted to show the world they are a major contender for the title. On Day 3 Robredo beat Echazu 6-4 6-1, and Almagro defeated Miranda 6-2 6-3. Spain won the tie against Peru 5-0. Off court in Peru, they boys also got a glimpse at life for some of the native Peruvians. Tommy and Fernando greeted the people in a small town, and played a little exhibition for them on a make do court drawn up in the dirt. The Spanish boys have a very worldly attitude, and this just reconfirmed how lucky they truly are to have such a high standard of living.

Moving on from a very impressive Davis Cup, this week on the ATP tour the tournaments were held in Delray Beach, Marseille and Costa Do Sauipe. In Marseille (France), only 2 Spanish players entered the event, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Feliciano Lopez. Ferrero was very impressive in a match against Hyung Taik Lee of South Korea, who was exhausted from his Davis Cup tie against Germany. Ferrero won 6-4 6-1. Unforutnately, Ferrero wasn't so lucky against Nicolas Mahut, who was playing in front of his home crowd. The indoor surface also gave Mahut an added advantage, and Mahut won 5-7 6-4 7-6. Unforutnately Ferrero will lose many ranking points, since last year he progressed far into the tournament in Brazil, and now his ranking will probably drop from 15 to around 20. Lopez however lost first round to the giant Croat, Ivo Karlovic 6-7 7-5 7-6. No Spaniards got past the 2nd round in Marseille, however Juan Carlos also celebrated his 28th birthday with a win against Lee, so Feliz Cumpleaños to JC. The people at Marseille also provided JC with a massive birthday cake.

Again, in Delray Beach, only 2 lesser known Spanish players contested the event (Guillermo Garcia Lopez who was in fine form at last month's Australian Open, and Ivan Navarro-Pastor). Both guys beat their first round opponents. Garcia Lopez beat Wayne Odesnik easily, 6-4 6-2, while Navarro had a bit more difficulty against Florent Serra, beating him 6-3 3-6 6-3. In the 2nd round, Guillermo fought hard against 3rd seed, Sam Querry, Querry winning 6-4 5-7 6-4. Ivan was beaten in the 2nd round by another American in local favourite Mardy Fish, with Fish winning 2-6 7-5 6-3.

The majority of Spanish players participated in the Latin American clay court swing, which this week was held in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil. Top seed, Carlos Moya beat compatriot Santiago Ventura in the first round, 6-4 4-6 6-4. In the second round he disposed of Olivier Patience 5-7 6-1 6-0, and will now take on another Spaniard in Oscar Hernandez to earn a place in the semi-finals. (I will post the results of this match and the remaining matches in this tournament in next week's blog) Hernandez has been showing some impressive form this week, beating Cuevas of Uruguay and Sergio Roitman to get to the quarters. Albert Monatanes beat Nicolas Devilder in the 1st round 6-4 6-4, but was unsuccessful in the second round against Fabio Fognini, losing 7-5 6-3. Spanish qualifier, Daniel Munoz-De La Nava was easily beaten by Filippo Volandri 6-2 6-4. But the other successful player of this tournament, number 2 seed Nicolas Almagro followed up on his great Davis Cup form, beating Nicolas Massu (a doubles partner of his) 6-3 6-2 in the first round, beating Boris Pashanski 6-2 6-3 in the secound round, and in the quarter finals beating Volandri 7-5 2-6 6-1. Like Moya, the rest of Almagro's results will be posted in the next entry. Best of luck to Nico and Carlos in the remainder of this tournament.

To finish this entry, a bit of off-court news. World number 2, Rafael Nadal has launched his charity foundation in Manacor, specialising in helping children and the disadvantaged, to try and give back to the community.

Adios amigos!
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