• Almagro takes on Ramos in Brasil Open semifinals

    2/18/12 2:08 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Almagro takes on Ramos in Brasil Open semifinals It will be an all-Spanish affair when Nicolas Almagro and Albert Ramos take the court for semifinal action on Saturday in Sao Paulo. The winner will battle either David Nalbandian or Thomaz Bellucci for the title.

    Nicolas Almagro and Albert Ramos will be squaring off for the second time in their careers when they clash in the Brasil Open semifinals on Saturday. Their only previous encounter came last fall on the hard courts of Kuala Lumpur, where Almagro prevailed 7-6(2), 7-6(4).

    That was part of an outstanding 2011 campaign for Almagro, and more of the same is continuing this season. The 11th-ranked Spaniard advanced three rounds at the Australian Open, beat Andrey Golubev in a Davis Cup rubber, and has taken out Victor Hanescu and Carlos Berlocq so far in Sao Paulo.

    Ramos started to make a name for himself last year and he, too, is building on the momentum. The 24-year-old Spaniard is up to a career-high ranking of No. 64 in the world. After a slow start in his first four tournaments of 2012, Ramos has heated up this week with straight-set victories over Santiago Giraldo, Igor Andreev, and Fernando Verdasco.

    Although Ramos is playing well and full of confidence, it remains to be seen how he will handle the pressure of a final weekend at an ATP Tournament. Almagro has far more experience in this regard, so look for the No. 1 seed to book a spot in the title match after two competitive sets.

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