By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 16, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Nicolas Almagro moves into the third round at the Australian Open for the fifth consecutive year after conquering his countryman Diego Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in an all Spanish second round encounter on Hisense Arena in morning play on Wednesday.
The tenth seed was never really troubled throughout the encounter, Gimeno-Traver only looking to have any chance during the beginning of the first set when he broke Almagro for a 2-1 lead.
The two have played each other on many occasions stretching back to the ITF junior days with Gimeno-Traver winning their only encounter on hard court at the 2010 Valencia Open in three sets.
One of 16 Spanish men flying the flag for Spain in the absence of Rafael Nadal, Almagro used his explosive shot making to shut down Gimeno-Traver.
He is known to be an intense personality on court, and let out plenty of emotional cries and fist pumping on his way to victory.
Gimeno-Traver drew blood early in the first set, breaking Almagro to take a 2-1 lead. It didn’t last long though as Almagro dug deep to return the set on serve in the eighth game. Gimeno-Traver double faulted while serving at set point down to gift his countryman the first set.
Almagro kept up the intensity in the second set, allowing his opponent only one game on his way to a 6-1 set win.
The third set was a similar story as Almagro convincingly won through to the third round, sealing the match with an ace.
Almagro improved his first serve percentage from a low 53% in his opening round five set match against American Steve Johnson to 64% and served down 10 aces. “I think I played better than in the first round. I served better today than the other day.”
“The Spanish are really good players. He [Gimeno-Traver] did a really good match in the first round so maybe he’s a bit tired. But I want to think about me I want to rest and play well in the next round.”
Almagro equaled his best showing fourth round at the Australian Open last year and to progress further in 2013 he would need to defeat a likely fourth round opponent in eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic before a possible quarterfinal showdown with number one ranked Spaniard David Ferrer.
Almagro plays the winner of the fiery encounter between 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz and Somdev Devvarman in the third round on Friday.
Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.