Steve Darcis vs Nicolas Almagro
Steve Darcis made a good result progressing here to the quarter finals where he meets much, much better opponent than the previous two. The Belgium won in first round against Fognini in two close sets, while he was better in second round than Filippo Volandri 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Steve is one of the players that bases his ranking mostly on clay court tournaments, but not at ATP level, but challengers. At least this was the situation till now. However, this season he is playing mostly clay court tournaments at ATP level and it doesn’t look that good form him till now. He is simply playing mediocre tennis this Spring, as he lost to Gil in qualifying round of Monte Carlo, while he won in three sets over Golubev in Barcelona, but lost easily to Verdasco in two. Munich tournament wasn’t any better for him as he exited in first round losing to Giraldo in two. Challenger in Bordeaux was a disaster too, losing to Rosol in second round. His previous opponents, Fognini and Volandri are not much serious than challenger players and there will be a big difference between these two matches and this one today.
Nicolas Almagro, on the other hand, is typical clay court player that bases his whole career on that surface. Furthermore, he is defending the title here, winning last year in the finals against Hanescu in three. This means that he has lots of motives to win the title again and save the points he earned last season. Apart from South American clay court tournaments back in February, he didn’t have the best start of European clay court tournaments failing to enter the last rounds of any tournament till now. Still, wins over players like Cilic, Granollers, Giraldo are something that can’t be compared to Darcis’s wins this season. On the other side, players that were better than Almagro were: Wawrinka, Raonic, Berdych and Ferrer – all players from the top of the World’s tennis.
Almagro won in two sets in the first round against Roger-Vasselin, he was already two times better than Steve Darcis, last time was two years ago at French Open where he won in three straight sets. There is no reason to doubt that Almagro is fully motivated in Nice and that he will be very near to defend the tittle he earned the previous season.
Bet: Almagro 2-0 in sets @1.50 with Pinnacle Sports
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