Juan Mónaco and Nicolas Almagro through to the semifinals in Hamburg

July 20, 2012

ATP Tennis News

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Mónaco is enjoying a successful clay court season. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Bet-at-home Open, Hamburg, Germany – Despite the grass court season being over for some and in the forefront of the mind for the Olympic contenders, Juan Mónaco and Nicolas Almagro have been very happy to continue playing on the surface prior to their participation at the Olympic Games in London.  On Friday, 3rd seed Juan Mónaco defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-5 and will now meet top seed Nicolas Almagro in the semi-finals in Hamburg after he ousted home crowd hopeful Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5.

Mónaco v Chardy

The Argentine was first on court in his match against Chardy, which saw him go down a break during his opening service game.  Mónaco soon relaxed into his match and found his rhythm breaking immediately back.  The third seed continued to grow more comfortable with his shotmaking on court and unleashed a flurry of well-placed forehands before breaking again and taking the first set 6-3.

The second set proved to be a strange affair after Mónaco broke early, but could not consolidate as the Frenchman evened up the set.  Chardy had an opportunity to break at 5-5 and put himself in the position to serve for the second set, but smart, aggressive play from the world No.14 denied his chances as Mónaco held for 6-5.

The next game saw Chardy become unable to withstand the pressure and was staring at three match points, which Mónaco took on the second after 1 hour and 36-minutes of play.

The two clay court specialists should set up a mouthwatering semi-final encounter, particularly after their recent successes on the surface during the last two weeks.  World No.14, Juan Mónaco has arrived in Hamburg confident after reaching the finals in Stuttgart and Nicolas Almagro was also a finalist in Bastad at the SkiStar Swedish Open.

 The 28-year old Mónaco is now into his fifth ATP World Tour semi-final of the season and is now guaranteed to move up the rankings again this year to an all new high of No.12.  He is enjoying one of his best seasons after winning in two tournaments already this year in Vina del Mar and Houston and is succeeding in his quest to target a position in the top 10.

Almagro v Kohlschreiber

Nicolas Almagro is through to the semi-finals in Hamburg

World No. 10 Nicolas Almagro continued his great clay court season this afternoon during his quarter-final encounter against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.  During the match, Almagro was playing against the German and of course the partisan crowd who were hoping their man would cause an upset.

Kohlschreiber pushed Almagro to two tight sets, where either could have ventured into a tie-break.  Almagro withstood the pressure and sealed the match with a 7-5, 7-5 victory in 1 hour and 37-minutes – only a minute longer than Mónaco’s match.

Juan Mónaco and Nicolas Almagro have met on six previous occasions, with Almagro leading the head-to-head 4-2.  Their last meeting was indoors at Valencia in 2011, which Mónaco wondering a tight, three set match.




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About Lisa-Marie Burrows

Lisa-Marie Burrows has a MA in Sports Broadcast Journalism and is a freelance sports journalist. She has covered many national and international tennis tournaments and has worked in Paris for Eurosport News channel. She is a member of the International Press Association and a journalist for its online magazine, IMPress. She has contributed articles for various leading websites including www.tennisgrandstand.com, www.worldtennismagazine.com, www.tennisbloggers.com, www.tennisscoop.co.uk and www.olympictennis.net. Lisa-Marie operates her tennis website www.tennisnewsviews.com where you can read her reports. She can be reached at lburrows@internationalpress.com or on Twitter @TennisNewsViews.

View all posts by Lisa-Marie Burrows


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