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Nicolas Almagro

tennis player

Nickname: Nico
Alias: Sanchez Rolle
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Bio He reached the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2008, 2010 and 2012 (losing each time to Rafael Nadal, the eventual champion), as well as the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2013 (losing to David Ferrer after leading by two sets to love). Almagro has won 13 singles titles and he achieved his career-high singles ranking of World No. 9 in May 2011.

He began playing tennis at age 8.

Almagro reached as high as World No. 18 in the junior singles rankings in December 2003.

Almagro won the gold medal at the 2005 Mediterranean Games by defeating compatriot Guillermo García-López in the final in Almería, Spain.

In April 2006, Almagro won his maiden ATP tournament title, the Open de Tenis Comunidad Valenciana (Valencia, Spain). Almagro was forced to come through the qualification rounds just to make this event, but that did not stop him from winning eight matches in a row, including three-set victories over former world no. 1s Juan Carlos Ferrero and Marat Safin.

After Valencia, Almagro went on an excellent run, reaching the semifinals of the Barcelona Open, before losing to Rafael Nadal, and followed that up by reaching the quarterfinals in Rome, where he lost to Roger Federer in three tight sets, 7–5 in the third round.

At Roland Garros 2006, he suffered a disappointing second-round loss to James Blake. The remainder of 2006 was uninspiring for Almagro. He did show signs of improving his hard-court game by making a quarterfinal indoors in Lyon, and he also won matches at the Masters 1000 events in Cincinnati and Paris.

Almagro won his second title on April 15,2007 by defeating Potito Starace,4–6,6–2, 6–1, in Valencia for the second consecutive year. However, he lost in the second round of the French Open in five sets to Michaël Llodra, in what was perceived as another disappointing lapse in form. Still, his year contained highlights other than Valencia. He reached the semifinals of Buenos Aires, the finals of Båstad, and began to show promise on hard courts also, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati and the third round of the US Open (losing to Davydenko).

In 2008, Almagro won the third title of his career in Costa Do Sauipe by defeating Carlos Moyà in a rollercoaster three-set battle. Two weeks later, Almagro followed that victory up with yet another in Acapulco, defeating David Nalbandian in the finals, 6–1, 7–6. With his fourth career title, Almagro rose to a career-best ranking of no. 21 in the world, winning 21 of 26 matches on clay in the season. He was at a career-best ranking of no. 17 in the world following the Masters Series in Rome.

He achieved his best Grand Slam result in June by reaching the quarterfinals of the 2008 French Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal, 1–6, 1–6, 1–6. During his run, he beat Boris Pašanski, Sebastián Decoud, tenth seed Andy Murray, and home-favourite Jérémy Chardy in straight sets. He hit more aces than any other player in the French Open that year (78).

In January, Almagro participated in the 2009 Heineken Open, held in Auckland, New Zealand. The fourth seed at the event, Almagro received a bye into the second round, where he defeated Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in three sets, 6–7, 6–3, 6–2. This gained him entry into the quarterfinals, where he was defeated in straight sets 3-6, 2-6 by American Sam Querrey, sixth seed at the event.[1]

At the Australian Open, Almagro won in the first round of the tournament for the first time, making it to the third round before losing to Gaël Monfils. At the 2009 Brasil Open, where Almagro was the defending champion and top seed, he lost in the quarterfinals to Frederico Gil in two tiebreak sets, 6–7, 6–7. At the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Almagro successfully defended his 2008 win, defeating Monfils in the final, 6–4, 6–4.

Almagro's next tournament was the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open, an ATP Masters Series event where he was seeded 19th. After receiving a bye into the second round, he was defeated by Taylor Dent in a third-set tiebreak, 2–6, 6–2, 7–6.

At the French Open, he made it through to the third round, but lost to countryman, Fernando Verdasco in straight sets.

At Wimbledon, he reached the third round, but was stopped easily by recent French Open runner-up Robin Söderling. In the first round, he scraped his way through after trailing 7–6, 7–6, 5–4, 40–30 with Juan Mónaco serving on match point. In the second round, he led Karol Beck two sets to love, only to find himself again fighting in five sets to survive. Nicolas won by 6–4, 7–6, 3–6, 3–6, 7–5.

At the US Open, Almagro lost in the third round to fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Before this, he defeated Belgian Steve Darcis in the first round, before getting past American Robby Ginepri in a 4 hr 15 min five-set match in the second round.

In the subsequent ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Paris, Almagro once again fell to Nadal. Despite having five match points and the opportunity to serve for the match in the third set, Almagro lost, 6–3, 6–7, 5–7.

At the 2010 Australian Open, Almagro prevailed in long five-set matches to beat Xavier Malisse, (8–6 in the fifth set) and Benjamin Becker, (6–3 in the fifth set) in the first two rounds. In the third round, he beat Alejandro Falla with relative ease in three sets, 6–4, 6–3, 6–4. In the fourth round, he was defeated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in another five-set battle lasting over 4 hours. Almagro played the whole tournament with a broken left wrist, preventing him from exceeding 200 km/h when serving due to an altered ball-toss.

He was ousted in the opening round of the 2010 Copa Telmex tournament for the second straight year (losing to Gimeno-Traver). He then entered the 2010 Abierto Mexicano Telcel (in Acapulco, Mexico) as the two-time defending champion. He beat Dudi Sela and Richard Gasquet to reach the quarterfinals. However, he lost to in-form Juan Carlos Ferrero, 1–6, 7–5, 2–6, who was on a 12-match winning streak.

As for his performances in ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, in Indian Wells Masters 1000, he reached the fourth round before retiring hurt against Andy Murray. At the Miami Masters 1000, he lost to eventual champion Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. In the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters 1000, he beat Simon Greul before falling to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round. In the Rome Masters 1000, he beat Łukasz Kubot, but lost to Ivan Ljubičić in the second round. In the Madrid Masters 1000, he beat Victor Troicki, fourth seed Söderling, Mónaco, and Melzer to reach the semifinals of a Masters event for the first time. There, he was beaten by the previous year's finalist Rafael Nadal, 6–4, 2–6, 2–6.

In the 2010 French Open, seeded 19th, he beat Robin Haase in five sets. In the second round, he beat Steve Darcis in straight sets. After beating Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round, he managed to upset Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round in four sets, 6–1, 4–6, 6–1, 6–4. Almagro then bowed out in straight sets in the quarterfinals, losing a closely contested match against eventual champion Rafael Nadal, 6–7, 6–7, 4–6.

At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, Almagro suffered a first-round exit to Italian Andreas Seppi, 6–7, 6–7, 2–6.

After this, Almagro traveled to his first clay-court tournament since Roland Garros, the 2010 Swedish Open. He defeated Jarkko Nieminen, 6–4, 6–4, Croatian qualifier Franko Škugor, 4–6, 6–4, 6–0, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he defeated fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, 6–1, 6–3, and then in the final he defeated home favourite, top seed, and defending champion Robin Söderling, 7–5, 3–6, 6–2, to snap a 17-month title drought dating back to February 2009 in Acapulco. Almagro then played in the 2010 International German Open, where he was stunned in the opening round by Uzbekistani Denis Istomin, 6–7, 6–7. After this, he appeared at the 2010 Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad as second seed. He won the tournament after defeating compatriot Marcel Granollers, 7–6, 3–6, 6–3, Swiss wildcard Michael Lammer, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2, Frenchman Jérémy Chardy, 6–2, 7–6, and then another fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 7–6, 3–6, 6–3. In the final, he defeated Richard Gasquet, 7–5, 6–1, to clinch the title.

At the 2010 US Open, Almagro beat Potito Starace and Guillermo García-López, both in four sets, before losing to Sam Querrey in the third round in straight sets, 3–6, 4–6, 4–6.

Almagro began his year at the 2011 Heineken Open in New Zealand. Seeded second, he received a bye into the second round. In his first match, he beat Victor Hănescu, 6–4, 7–6, to advance to the quarterfinals, where he won against Adrian Mannarino, 7–6, 6–7, 6–2, to advance to the semifinals, where he was defeated by David Nalbandian, 4–6, 2–6.

At the 2011 Australian Open, Almagro was seeded 14th. He defeated Stéphane Robert in the first round, 6–4, 6–3, 6–7, 7–5. He then battled through Igor Andreev in the second round, 7–5, 2–6, 4–6, 7–6, 7–5, saving three match points in the process and rallying from a 2–4 deficit in the fifth set. In the third round, he defeated 17th seed Ivan Ljubičić in straight sets, 6–4, 7–6, 6–3. In the fourth round, he was dismantled by world no. 3 and eventual champion Novak Djokovic, 3–6, 4–6, 0–6.

Almagro next entered the 2011 Brasil Open, where he had a bye in the first round. He easily cruised to the semifinals, and after a slow start, he defeated Juan Ignacio Chela, 1–6, 6–2, 6–4, to reach the final. He then won his eighth career title against Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6–3, 7–6.

His winning streak continued as he snatched his second consecutive title in as many weeks at the 2011 Copa Claro tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, defeating Juan Ignacio Chela, 6–3, 3–6 6–4, in the final. His hot streak stretched even further at the 2011 Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, making his third consecutive clay-court final. He beat Victor Hănescu, Filippo Volandri, Santiago Giraldo, and Thomaz Bellucci. He lost, however, to defending champion David Ferrer, 6–7, 7–6, 2–6.

Almagro then lost in the third round at both the 2011 BNP Paribas Open (losing to Albert Montañés, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6) and at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open (losing to Florian Mayer, 1–6, 6–3, 1–6).

At the 2011 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, he beat Marcel Granollers, 6–3, 6–3, before prevailing in a marathon encounter against Máximo González, 6–7, 7–5, 7–6, saving a total of four match points (three consecutive match points when *0–40 on serve at *4–5 in the third set, and one match point in the third set tiebreak at *7–8). He then lost to Jürgen Melzer, 1–6, 4–6, in the third round.

Almagro then appeared at the 2011 Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell, where he notched a 7–5, 7–6 win over in-form compatriot Pablo Andújar. In the third round, he defeated Nikolay Davydenko, 7–6, 6–3, to enter the world's top 10 for the first time in his career. He followed this victory with a solid 6–3, 6–3 victory in the quarterfinals over a resurgent Juan Carlos Ferrero, who had just come back from a knee injury. In the semifinals, he lost to David Ferrer, 3–6, 4–6.

He lost at the Madrid Masters to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 1–6, 3–6, in the first round, before making it to the third round at the Rome Masters and losing 3–6, 6–3, 4–6 to Robin Söderling. Almagro improved at the Open de Nice Côte d'Azur, where he defeated Victor Hănescu, 6–7, 6–3, 6–3. In Hamburg, Almagro lost in the final, 4–6, 6–4, 4–6, to Gilles Simon.

Almagro played Julien Benneteau in the first round of the US Open, making many unforced errors and only managing to break once out of 13 chances. He lost 2–6, 4–6, 2–6.

Almagro lost in the fourth round of the 2012 Australian Open to Tomáš Berdych. Afterwards, Berdych refused to shake Almagro's hand after an incident in the match where Almagro hit Berdych with a ball.

In February, Almagro earned his 11th career title in São Paulo, defeating Filippo Volandri in the final. He also made the final in Buenos Aires, bowing to David Ferrer.

Almagro got his revenge at Indian Wells, where he beat and bagled Berdych in the fourth round to advance to the quarterfinals, where he met Novak Djokovic.

Almagro defended his title in Nice for his 12th career title, beating American Brian Baker in the final.

At the French Open, he defeated Paolo Lorenzi, in the first round, Marcos Baghdatis in the second round, Leonardo Mayer in the third round, and Janko Tipsarević in the fourth round to reach quarterfinals without losing a set. He lost his first set to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, where he ultimately lost, 6–7, 2–6, 3–6.

Almagro has yet to go past the third round at Wimbledon and is not known for his proficiency on grass. However, during the 2012 London Olympics, he made a surprising run to the quarterfinals without dropping a set, before losing 4-6 1-6 to eventual champion Andy Murray.

Almagro reached the finals of the Swedish Open, losing again to Ferrer, 2–6, 2–6.

Almagro reached the semifinals of the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg, losing to Juan Mónaco, 6–3 3–6 4–6.

Almagro reached the quarterfinals of the Australian open for the first time, where he played compatriot David Ferrer, whom he had never beaten in twelve previous meetings. Almagro led by two sets and served for a place in his first Grand Slam semifinal once in the third set and twice in the fourth, but was unable to manufacture a match point, and Ferrer eventually won, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-2. Almagro's next tournament was the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco. He reached the semifinals without dropping a set. However, he was beaten by Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

In Houston, Almagro was the top seed. He made it to the final, but was defeated by John Isner.

Almagro then reached the fourth round of the French Open where, for the second Grand Slam running, he lost after leading by two sets and a break against a compatriot, this time Tommy Robredo. Almagro led 7-6 (5), 6-3, 4-1 but went on to lose the last three sets 4-6, 4-6, 4-6, despite also leading sets four and five by a break of serve.

At Wimbledon, Almagro was the 15th seed. He reached the third round, where he lost in straight sets to Jerzy Janowicz.

Almagro reached the semifinal stage of the bet-at-home Open in Hamburg, losing to Fabio Fognini in straight sets.

In 2014, Almagro pulled out of Sydney and the Australian Open because of a shoulder injury. He reached the Houston final, where he lost to Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard won over Nicolas Mahut to reach the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

At the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, he defeated Martin Klizan and Fernando Verdasco, then snapped Rafael Nadal's 41-match winning streak. This marked his first victory over his dominant compatriot in 11 meetings. Santiago Giraldo defeated him in semifinals.

At Roland Garros, Nicolás was forced to retire in the first round against American Jack Sock due to a foot injury.

Almagro subsequently withdrew from both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same injury.

In 2015, at the Australian Open, he lost to Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(1) 6-2 in the first round.

Almagro announced his retirement during the Murcia Open in April 2019, which would be his last professional tournament. He played his final match of career in his hometown at 2019 Murcia, a Challenger (lost to Vilella Martinez in 1R).

He currently serves as tennis academy director at La Manga Club in Murica, where he oversees 28 courts at resort's tennis center.

Almagro's playing style fits that of an offensive baseliner. Almagro's groundstrokes, particularly on his favored backhand side, are very powerful. Almagro uses a very quick and compact service motion which helps his first serve often exceed speeds of 210 km/h. In addition to his powerful game, Almagro is also known for playing on the edge of his emotions, sometimes losing his temper on-court. Almagro is most proficient on clay courts, as evidenced by all his ATP finals being at clay court events. Almagro has had success on hard courts, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2013, and has also reached the quarterfinals in Cincinnati (2007) and Miami (2010). However, he generally prefers to play on clay courts and tailors his schedule to play the majority of the clay court events on the ATP World Tour.
Nicolás Almagro uses the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour. He has been stringing with Luxilon Big Banger Original for years. In January 2016 Almagro signed with Joma for clothing and shoes.

He has played seven Davis Cup ties, winning 8 of the 10 singles matches he has contested. All his wins have come on clay.

In 2008, he helped the Spanish Davis Cup to win the title, winning two rubbers at the first round against Peru by beating Matías Silva 3–6 6–3, 7–5, 6–0 and Ivan Miranda 6–2, 6 –3.

In the 2012 Davis Cup final, he lost to Tomáš Berdych and again to Radek Štěpánek in the fifth rubber, denying Spain a repeat win.
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