Serving for the match three times and failing three times has nothing to do with backhands and forehands. It is mental. And even though Nicolas Almagro would say that he felt pain in his ankle and abductor muscle later in the match, it was the mental aspect that kept him from his first Grand Slam semifinal and why fellow Spaniard David Ferrer is still unbeaten against him -- now 13-0 following Tuesday's Australian Open quarterfinal.
In an extraordinary contest, full of missed chances and occasional moments of brilliance, Ferrer came through in the end 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to reach the semifinal for the third time in his last four Slams. But, in truth, he was lucky to survive.
Ferrer was strangely tentative and inaccurate during the first two sets, missing on his backhand far more often than usual while Almagro used his one-handed backhand to brilliant effect, hitting great winners down the line, time after time.
But in a good call, Jim Courier, commentating for Austral...