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  • Almagro takes on Volandri in Brasil Open final

    2/19/12 4:16 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Almagro takes on Volandri in Brasil Open final Nicolas Almagro is one win away from a successful title defense in Sao Paulo. Standing in his way on Sunday is unseeded Filippo Volandri.

    Nicolas Almagro and Filippo Volandri will be squaring off for 10th time in their careers when they battle for the Brasil Open title on Sunday. Almagro leads the head-to-head series 6-3, having prevailed most recently 6-2, 6-2 last year in Acapulco. Not surprisingly, all nine of their previous meetings have come on clay.

    Speaking of the slow stuff, that's where Volandri always has made his living and always will. The 30-year-old Italian lost in the first round of three straight hard-court tournaments but is heating up on the dirt of Sao Paulo. So far this week he has dismissed Albert Montanes, Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, David Nalbandian, and Thomaz Bellucci.

    Almagro has been stellar on all surfaces of late. The 11th-ranked Spaniard thrived in 2011 and he sustained his momentum with a fourth-round showing at the Australian Open. More of the same has continued this week, with Almagro taking out Victor Hanescu, Carlos Berlocq, and Albert Ramos.

    Volandri is contesting his ninth career ATP final and he is in search of his third title. It should come as no surprise that all eight of his previous title-match appearances have come on clay. All 14 of Almagro's finals have also come on clay, and he boasts an outstanding 10-4 record.

    An upset is possible, but based on Almagro's experience in title fights and his current form he is the clear favorite. Look for the defending champion to prevail in straight sets.


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