Rhyne Williams in action at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Texas
April 13, 2013 – In a semifinal that was physically much closer than the scoreline indicated, world No. 12 and US Men’s Clay Court Championship No. 1 seed Nicolas Almagro defeated 22-year-old rising American Rhyne Williams, 6-2, 6-1.
But don’t be fooled by the skewed scoreline, as eight of the first eleven games went to 30 or deuce on each player’s serve. Given Almagro’s commanding style to punish his opponents by running them around the court, Williams took the early initiative on most points in the first set, but his transition game and net play got over-powered by one of the best active players on clay.
Leading up the match, Williams had spent nearly seven hours on court in Houston, while Almagro not even half of that. After his win yesterday, Williams admitted that his left quad and glut were sore and that he was near cramping. He wasn’t sure how his body would hold up in the semi today, but he played thro...