Archive for the ‘nicolas almagro’ Category

trophy watch: he who stands taller

July 26, 2011

Two straight for Fishy: Mardy Fish denied John Isner from pulling a Mardy Fish yesterday in Atlanta. Last year, Fish had won Newport and Atlanta to kick off a hot summer, and with Isner taking the North American grass court tourney this year, he was trying to pull a Fish and double dip to start his own US Open campaign. But Fish, the no. 9-ranked player in the world, fended off Isner in Atlanta at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, beating his countryman 3-6 7-6 (6) 6-2. John doesn’t look too happy now, does he? The reason? It was the second straight year Fish had beaten Isner in the final here, saving match points this time around to take a cup over a platter (better to drink out of!). There’s still a few weeks before the big show in NYC! Cheer up, Johnny boy!

Vera, unplugged. It was the turnaround that Vera Zvonareva was in desperate need of. The Russian had struggled through Europe, whimpering out of Wimbledon where she so forcefully made the final last year, losing out to Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round, 6-3 6-2. But Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vera’s countrywoman, made the biggest Baku headlines for the week for her 25-double fault match that she WON. More importantly? Vera was the week’s winner. Zvonareva took down the tough Anna Tatishvili, 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-2.

Gilles, too. Meanwhile, on clay, Gilles Simon took Nicolas Almagro to task, winning in Hamburg, 6-4 4-6 6-4.

(Isner and Fish via Getty; Vera via the Baku Cup/WTA; Simon via the AP)

trophy watch: before paris

May 23, 2011


And two weeks from now? Caroline Wozniacki
 would like to be holding a smaller — but more significantly weighted — trophy on the grounds of Roland Garros. But for now the world no. 1 will have to take solace in this oversized cup she received for winning in Brussels, beating Peng Shuai 2-6 6-3 6-3. It would be an outside shot for Andrea Petkovic to go from Strasbourg winner to the champ in Paris, but she did beat Marion Bartoli (6-4 1-0 Ret.), a former Major finalist herself and was a quarterfinalist at this year’s Aussie. For the boys, Nicolas Almagro downed Victor Hanescu 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-3. The Spaniard also has an outside chance at capturing a win at the year’s second major. | More: Read about all three of their wins

Where are they now? In Paris, duh! Almagro, the 11th seed, gets Lukasz Kubot in the first round tomorrow. Top seed Wozniacki swept through Kimiko Date Krumm in her opening match today, winning 0 and 2. Petkovic gets dangerous Serb Bojana Jovanovski tomorrow in her opener. | Look: RG photo stream


(Wozniacki image by Getty via the WTA; Petko by Chrystene Caillud via the WTA and Almago by Yohan Brandt via the ATP)

roland garros bracketology: the fellas

May 19, 2011

By Christopher Phillips

[Ed note: Chris Phillips, part of TSF West, files his thoughts on who's hot, who's not and who might just make a run at this year's Roland Garros. -NEM]

With the men’s and women’s most significant clay court tournaments just completed and a handful of players getting their last bit of match time in this week, let’s take a look at some of the contenders for the 2011 French Open.  I’ve listed my top 10 favorites below in my own rank order as well as some other players to watch who’ve had notable achievements this year or in the past.

Rafael Nadal | While the tennis talk of the town has definitely been focused on Djokovic the past five months, I still believe this title is Nadal’s to lose. Djokovic has beaten Nadal four times this year with his last two on clay, but beating Rafa three out of five sets is much tougher of a challenge than beating him two out of three.  If anyone can do it though, Nole’s your man. Result: Champ (d. Djokovic in five-set final)

Novak Djokovic | I think at some point “streak pressure” has got to get to him.  Once people start asking how long can you keep it going is usually about when it stops, especially when it becomes the only question (in 20 different forms) in the media room. I detected a bit of panic on his face when he was two points away from losing to Andy Murray in the Rome SFs.  If you’re looking for more reasons he won’t beat Rafa, Nole lost to Jurgen Melzer last year in the QFs after holding a two-set lead.  Additionally — and one of the reasons why I think Murray was as successful against Novak as he was in Rome — is that nobody on the tour expects to beat this guy right now, giving them an increased ability to feel like they can swing away at their shots.  That being said, anything less than a trip to the final for Djoko would have to qualify as the biggest upset (for whoever snacks on him) of the year so far. Result: Runner-up

Roger Federer | As the oldest of the top three, the great one is past his prime … but this doesn’t mean another major (or two or three) are beyond him. But I just don’t see it happening here, nor do I see him as the victim of an upset.  He’s played eight tournaments this year winning one (Doha) and losing five to either Nadal or Djokovic.  What should be most troubling for Roger however is his straight-set loss to Melzer in the Monte Carlo QFs and losing two tiebreaks to Richard “Baby Federer” Gasquet in the third round at Rome. Result: Quarterfinals

Andy Murray | Murray’s year has been up and down, but the most encouraging thing for him going into the next two weeks should be the fact — not that he’s 13-7 on the year — but that he’s 7-3 on clay with two of those three-set losses to Nadal and Djokovic, respectively.  Hopefully these semifinal runs in Monte Carlo and Rome will give him the encouragement he needs to turn his game around for the year. More: Will Andy be OK despite his ‘injury?’ Result: Semifinals

David Ferrer | Ferrer is 15-3 (Update: DF upset by Alexandr Dolgopolov in Nice) on clay this year with his losses coming solely to … Nadal and Djokovic.  He’s had wins on the dirt over Melzer (twice), Nicolas Almagro (twice), Serb Victor Troicki, Jaun Monaco and Feliciano Lopez.  It’s going to take one of the big four to take him down. Result: Semifinals

Robin Soderling | Soderling’s made the past two finals at Roland Garros, but given his play this year, it’s difficult to see him going for a three-peat. He’s won three hard court titles (Brisbane, Rotterdam and Marseille) but has gone 5-4 on clay with his deepest run to quarterfinals in Rome, Madrid and Estoril.  Three of those losses were to Djokovic (losing most recently 3 & 0), Federer and Del Potro … but the other was to Ivan Dodig.  He also struggled against Almagro, Fernando Verdasco and Jeremy Chardy.  If any of the top eight are ripe for an early upset, it’s the Swede. Result: Quarterfinals

Scalp man: Soderling has had big wins the last two years. Don’t expect him to make it three in a row.

Tomas Berdych | Berdych made it to the SFs here last year, but hasn’t won a title in over two years. His record on the dirt this year is 5-3 with his most significant wins over Monaco (twice), falling at or before the QFs in all three events. His record going into Roland Garros last year wasn’t entirely dissimilar, but it’s hard to see him reaching the SFs again. Result: Quarterfinals

Nicolas Almagro | Many have considered Almagro to be the Spanish clay court successor to Nadal, but he’s yet to live up to any of that hype.  He’s 20-4 on clay this year with two South American titles (Buenos Aires and Costa Do Sauipe) with wins over Sam Querrey, Juan-Ignacio Chela (twice), Tommy Robredo, Nikolay Davydenko, Ferrero and Jose Acasuso. His clay success has helped him crack the top ten for the first time in his career. In seven trips to Paris, he’s lost to top 10 players on five of those occasions and twice been a quarterfinalist. The real question seems to be: Can Almagro finally break through to his predicted potential? Result: Quarterfinals

Richard Gasquet | While he’s 4-7 lifetime at Roland Garros (yep! You read that right.), four of those losses have been to top ten players (Murray last year after leading two-sets-to-none, Nadal and David Nalbandian (twice) and a fifth to eventual champ Albert Costa in 2002 (Right, we forgot about Albie, too).  So far this year on the dirt, Richard is 8-4 with three losses to top 10 players (Nadal twice and countryman Gael Monfils).  His play in Rome (with victories over Federer and Berdych) was inspiring and should serve him well in Paris. But will the home crowd be too much once again? Result: Third round

Stanislas Wawrinka | He’s 10-6 at Roland Garros, but — similar to Gasquet — three of those losses were to top ten players (Federer, Ivan Ljubicic and Nalbandian) and the other three losses were to future top ten players (Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez) and eventual 2002 finalist (the now-forgotten Mariano Puerta).  Even though his 7-5 clay court record this year leaves plenty to be desired, needless to say it takes a considerable player to take out the second-highest Swiss player in Paris. Result: Third round

For a list of other players to watch, click to keep reading. (more…)

almagro climbs his way into the top 10

April 23, 2011

Nicolas Almagro came up short in the all-Spanish semifinal at the 2011 Barcelona Open, losing to David Ferrer 3-6, 4-6. It puts an end to another great run for Nico and puts Ferrer in his second final against Rafa Nadal in as many weeks. (They two duked it out for the Monte Carlo title, with Nadal prevailing.) But Almagro shouldn’t feel too bad: he’ll enter the ATP top 10 for the first time in his career when the rankings are released on Monday.

Stepping it up: Reebok‘s playing with prints again after keeping with solid polos to start out Nico’s year. Now there are white and teal colorways of the current crew done up with pseudo-trapezoidy/staircase-esque patterns. Not available stateside, but definitely available in brick-and-mortar stores en España. More info here: Reebok Competition Tech Top.

Draw: Read up on all the happenings of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at the tourney’s here.

(image via Getty Images)

trophy watch: hold up that boo-boo, boo

February 21, 2011

We know, we’ve been a little Andy-crazy the last 24 hours, but really y’all, the dude is holding this boring trophy, looking so dang proud of himself and flashing a battle wound. That. Is. So. Cool. Seriousssssssssly. (AP photo)

Oh right, the ladies were playing in Memphis, too. At left, winner Magdalena Rybarikova beat Canadian Rebecca Marino. (Getty Images)

Is it just us, or is Nicolas Almagro getting cuter? The Spaniard won in Brazil for his second-straight ATP title in two weeks.  (AP photo) More trophies (and their holders) after the cut.

(more…)

jo-wilfried tsonga

January 26, 2010

The 10th seed at the 2010 Australian Open, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, is now through to the quarterfinals after a hard-fought win over Nicolas Almagro — 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (6), 9-7. Up next is Novak Djokovic. (Draw: Men’s singles.)

Buy: adidas Competition Seamless Tee, in Acid Buzz, $52, adidas.com.

(image via Getty Images)

french fhm

March 10, 2009

Enjoy these pictures of Michael Llodra, Nicolas Almagro, Fabio Fognini, Marcos Baghdatis, and Jeremy Chardy taken for the French FHM.

(scans via MTF)

trophy watch: surf, sand, and sun

March 3, 2009

In Acapulco, both Nicolas Almagro and Flavia Pennetta made it to the finals — like they did last year, but only one of them defended their title.

Almagro upset Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 — revenge from their heated third-round Australian Open match, perhaps? And Pennetta bowed out to Venus Williams in just over an hour. The 6-1, 6-2 win gives Venus her second title in as many weeks.

Fish schools Korolev: The tennis pedigree (he’s Anna Kournikova‘s cousin) didn’t quite help Evgeny Korolev maintain trend at the Delray Beach ITC: up until Mardy Fish‘s 7-5, 6-3 win on Sunday, the tournament’s top seeds had never taken the title.

Last man standing? If Nole didn’t end up bringing home this boat from Dubai, it would’ve been pretty sad. The other top guys — Roger, Rafa, Andys Murray and Roddick — all dropped out for various reasons. Thankfully, he lived up to the challenge and beat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3.

shirtless: jeremy chardy

June 2, 2008

Count 21-year-old Jeremy Chardy as one of the ATP upstarts who made a splash at this year’s French Open. He took out sixth seed David Nalbandian and then 30th seed Dmitry Tursunov before falling to 2008 claycourt “it” player Nicolas Almagro in the round of 16. (That battle with Almagro included two tiebreakers and a 7-5 third set!)

Wearing his standard issue from Lacoste.

Freckles! Also, notice the white bandana they’ve put on him. Good call from the French brand.

More: See him from the front (plus a few more photos) after the cut…

a little fight club action

April 2, 2008

Mikhail Youzhny - Miami 2008

Watch this clip of Mikhail Youzhny totally losing it after squandering a break point opportunity at 5-4 in the third set against Nicolas Almagro at the Sony Ericsson Open.

He smashes his head with his racquet. Three times. Turned out to be a bloody mess. Let’s hope he doesn’t play a brainy game ala Andy Murray because that didn’t do his head any good.

Misha eventually pulled it together and won 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (6) to advance to the fourth round, where he lost to Janko Tipsarevic.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s sony ericsson open coverage continues…

trophy watch: i call him “melo yellow”; a japanese phenom; mama murray must be happy, etc.

February 21, 2008

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This one’s for you, Mikey: Our Sa Watch 2008 begins with the duo of Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa — locals — winning the Brazil Open doubles trophy over Albert Montanez and Santiago Ventura. Leave it to Andre to wear yellow socks on the court. Cute.

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Meanwhile, it was a battle of the lankies as British fourth seed Andy Murray took out Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4, at the ATP Open 13 in Marseille, France.

In Delray Beach, Kei Nishikori surprised everyone (including finalist James Blake) with this impressive 6-3, 1-6 and 4-6 upset. Our buddy Ichizo took this video of Kei while playing against Zack Fleishman in Japan last October.

By the way, look out for Ichizo to launch his japanese language tennis blog sometime soon. This is one of the few times I’m sad that I don’t know Japanese. That, and everytime I can’t read anything in Men’s Non-No aka the best magazine in the world.

And we are sure that Mama Murray is proud of her other son, Jamie, who teamed with Max Mirnyi to upset the top seeded Bryan Brothers. (Watch: See Jamie use finger code to communicate with Max.)

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trophy-antwerp-08.jpg

A beaut! The Proximus Diamond Games tops itself with a racquet encrusted with 2008 diamonds (get it?) totalling more than $1.5 million. 1,611 of those diamonds are on the ball itself. Unfortunately for Justine Henin, who beat Italy’s Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-3 in the final match, she has to win the tournament three times in five years before she takes home that puppy. It’s not an impossible feat, though; Amelie Mauresmo did the same last year and took home the first diamond trophy.

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Singles: Sorry, guys. I was too crushed by the early loss of Guga Kuerten in singles (and doubles, actually) at the Brasil Open to care about who won. Props to Nicolas Almagro for besting mainstay Carlos Moya 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-5.

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Lastly, Flavia Pennetta wore her multi-collared Sergio Tacchini all the way to a title at the Vina del Mar tourney in Vina del Mar, Chile. Her opponent: Klara Zakopalova.

(Mirnyi/Murray video via ATP; photos by Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s trophy watch

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fashion focus: save for one black white sheep, the spanish shine at davis cup

February 10, 2008

Perhaps it was because their country now has a bigger stake in Davis Cup, or perhaps they knew they could easily brush aside Luis Horna and friends. Whatever the case, the Spanish team of Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, and Nicolas Almagro looked good in play and in clothes during this weekend’s Davis Cup tie.

spain-uniform-daviscup-spr08-2.jpg

Team: We already posted the Spanish warm-up suits, so here’s a look at it from the back (with the “Espana” logo), and a shot of the team in their red polos with yellow cuffs/collar. By the way, what happened to their red/yellow flag wristbands?

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Fashion V.I.P.: Feliciano Lopez gets our fashion VIP award again, this time for his well-coordinated outfit from new sponsor Joma Sport. (Our other fave was his Nadal-esque outfit from Nike.) Do you agree? Tell us!

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Spain’s white sheep: I don’t know why Reebok couldn’t figure out a away to give Almagro a red shirt. Perhaps their fax machine ran out of thermal paper when the memo went out. Props to adidas for dressing Verdasco, and to Sergio Tacchini for Robredo’s Davis Cup gear.

Scores: Click here to see the details of how Spain beat Peru 5-0.

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>> TSF’s davis cup archive

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roitman’s “no brand” clothing

July 26, 2007

roitman-austrianopen.jpg

Sergio goes gaucho: The background behind Argentinian Sergio Roitman‘s clothing sponsor, No Brand: Roitman’s buddy runs the line, whose goal is low-key promotion of national icons such as cattle (on his bandana, above), Che Guevara, the bandoneón (pictured on his shirt, above), mate (the country’s favorite drink), and Carlos Gardel. Upcoming designs include Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini.

Players like Nicolas Almagro, Filippo Volandri, Nicolas Lapentti, and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo are all fans of the line. At tournaments, Roitman usually brings extra gear to hand out as gifts.

(ATP Blog via Vivi el Tenis)

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>> Tennis Served Fresh’s fashion archive

trophy watch: the swiss and swedes got it right + hall of fame

July 16, 2007

While the women of France were busy representing their country in a Fed Cup tie against Italy (alas, they lost), the men were busy in finals; three of the six ATP-ers vying for titles were French: Fabrice Santoro, Nicolas Mahut, and Paul-Henri Mathieu. Félicitacions!

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At the Swiss Open orangefest, Mathieu (in adidas) lugs home a piece of rock for beating Andreas Seppi (wearing Fila)…

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… and Santoro won the Hall of Fame Championships over mutton-chopped Mahut. (Mahut had a very good grass season… remember he lost to Andy Roddick in the Queen’s Club final? Here’s his very gracious post-match interview.)

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David Ferrer (in Lotto) wins what looks like a deer enveloped in crystal at the Swedish Open. He dropped only three games in his final match against Nicolas Almagro.

See more trophy photos (plus the Hall of Fame induction) after the cut…

valencia: the trophy + fashion show photos

April 16, 2007

Nicolas Almagro took this trophy home after defending his title in Valencia. Wesley Moodie and Todd Perry, the doubles winners, received the same. (via Yahoo! Sports)

And here are photos from the fashion/style show (sponsored by American Crew) at the tournament:

Creepy.

(via Open de Tenis Comunidad Valenciana)

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>> trophies: hyderabad
>> trophies: sony ericsson
>> preview of the miami fashion shows
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