Almagro Defeats Nick Kyrgios to Reach the Estoril Open Final

Nicolas Almagro is one win away from ending a four year drought…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player and clay-court specialist beat second-seeded Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 at the Estoril Open on Saturday to reach his second final of the season.

Nicolas Almagro

Almagro will face fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who upset third-seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal at the clay-court tournament.

The 71st-ranked Almagro saved the only two break points he conceded in the entire match and served seven aces to reach his second final after losing to Dominic Thiem in Argentina in February.

Almagro has 12 career ATP titles, all on clay. He hasn’t won a tournament in four years.

The eighth-seeded Carreno Busta, 24, upset top-seeded Gilles Simon in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The 50th-ranked Spaniard played in his first final at the Brazil Open in February, losing to Pablo Cuevas.

Nadal to Face Kei Nishikori in the Barcelona Open Final

Rafael Nadal is one win away from back-to-back titles…

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star will face Kei Nishikori in the Barcelona Open final after both past champions won their semifinals in straight sets on Saturday.

Rafael Nadal  

Nadal fought off Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3 to return to his first final here since 2013, when he won the tournament a record eighth time.

Last weekend, Nadal defeated Gael Monfils to claim a ninth title at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nishikori, the two-time defending champion, beat Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 6-2 earlier on the outdoor clay court.

Nadal holds an 8-1 win-loss record against Nishikori, but expects a tough final.

“I will have to play my best,” he said.

The top-seeded Nadal eased past Kohlschreiber, breaking his serve three times and saving the only break chance he conceded to the German. The home favorite sealed the win when Kohlschreiber hit his return long.

Cuevas Defeats Steve Darcis to Reach Swedish Open Semifinals

Pablo Cuevas is two matches away from defending his title…

The 29-year-old Uruguayan tennis player, currently ranked No. 25 in the world, defeated Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4 in the Swedish Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Pablo Cuevas

In the semifinals, the third-seeded Cuevas faces France’s Benoit Paire, who easily defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-2 in just under an hour.

Also, two-time Bastad champion and second-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain defeated France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-3.

It took three sets for Germany’s Alexander Zverev to beat sixth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Ramos Upsets Nikolay Davydenko at the Barcelona Open

It’s home field advantage for Albert Ramos

The 26-year-old Spanish professional tennis player upset Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Barcelona Open to set up a meeting against top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

Albert Ramos

Ramos will play the defending champion and eight-time winner during Wednesday’s second-round match.

Nadal was knocked out of the quarterfinals of the preceding Monte Carlo Masters — his earliest exit from the clay-court tournament since 2003.

In second-round play on Tuesday, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan was a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Spain’s Roberto Bautista.

No. 16 Benoit Paire of France was the only seeded player to exit, retiring at 6-4, 5-1 down to Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.

Bautista Agut Advances to His First-Ever Grand Slam Quarterfinals

No let down (under) for Roberto Bautista Agut

The 25-year-old Spanish tenista followed up his upset win over No. 5 seed Juan Martin del Potro at the Australian Open with a victory over another seeded player.

Roberto Bautista Agut

In his third round match Saturday, Bautista Agut, ranked No. 62 in the world, defeated No. 27 seed Benoit Paire of France in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.

It’s the fifth victory over Paire for Bautista Agut. He most recently defeated the French player in straight sets at the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this month.

Bautista Agut has now reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career.

The plucky underdog’s next opponent will be No. 22 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who defeated No. 11 seed Milos Raonic of Canada in four sets.

Bautista Agut Upsets Juan Martin del Potro at the Australian Open

Roberto Bautista Agut has taken down a Grand Slam champion…

In an exciting five-set match, the 26-year-old Spanish professional tennis player outlasted No. 5 seed and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the second round at the Australian Open, pulling off the biggest upset of the Grand Slam event so far.

Roberto Bautista Agut

The Argentinian del Potro led twice in sets, before Bautista Agut –ranked No. 62 in the world – fought back to seal a 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 victory under the lights in Melbourne.

It was Bautista Agut’s first win in seven matches against a top 10 player, and del Potro’s fourth second-round exit in eight years at the season’s first major.

The match lasted three hours and 53 minutes, and ended at 1:20 am Melbourne time on Friday after a long day of suspensions and delays in matches due to extreme heat and storms.

It’s a tough loss for del Potro, who won his 18th career singles title last week by beating Bernard Tomic in the final of the Sydney International, a key warm-up event for the Australian Open.

Bautista Agut next faces No. 27-ranked Benoit Paire in the third round.

Ferrer Reached Title Match at Stockholm Open

Spain’s Stockholm Open slump is officially over, thanks to David Ferrer.

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis star defeated fifth-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the Stockholm Open final.

David Ferrer

With the win, Ferrer becomes the first Spaniard in 37 years to reach the tournament’s title match.

He will face seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who defeated wild card Benoit Paire of France 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, in Sunday’s title match.

Ferrer, the tournament’s top seed, will be going for his third title of the year and his first since February.

Nadal Defeats Tomas Berdych to Reach Rome Masters Men’s Final

Rafael Nadal continues to shine in his post-injury return to competitive tennis…

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis superstar produced some of his best tennis at the Rome Masters on Saturday to earn his place in the finals.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal started the semi-final match on fire and finished strong to claim a 6-2, 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych.

In Sunday’s final, the six-time Rome champion will play his archrival Roger Federer, who defeated surprise semifinalist Benoit Paire of France 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in the night match.

Nadal was in absolute peak form in the first set, seizing control of almost every point with deep, accurate and heavily spun ground strokes.

And on the rare occasion when Berdych dictated play, the world No. 5 typically won the point anyway with  impressive defensive gems.

The second set was more evenly matched, but Berdych’s fate was virtually sealed when he lost his serve in the ninth game, and he was unable to mount a miracle comeback like the one he pulled off in Friday’s quarterfinals against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“I played at a high level and everything went well with no mistakes. I was dominating the points and following to the net. I think I played one of my best matches since I am came back” Nadal said in a post-match interview, referring to his long injury layoff from July 2012 until early this year.

Nadal has made a miraculous return to the ATP Tour since recovering from a knee injury, reaching eight straight finals dating back to a small clay-court tournament in Viña del Mar, Chile, in February.

Nadal and Federer have played 29 times, with Nadal holding a 19-10 advantage. Sunday’s final will be their 15th meeting on clay, with Nadal holding a 12-2 advantage on his favorite surface.

Nadal can move up to No. 4 in the rankings – and avoid a possible quarterfinal matchup at the French Open against either Djokovic, Federer or Andy Murray – if he wins Sunday’s final, which will be the best of three sets.