Surging Almagro Takes Out Kyrgios – ATP World Tour

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Nicolas Almagro will play for a 13th ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Millennium Estoril Open. Almagro overcame an in-form Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 in 73 minutes to reach his second final of the year. The 30-year-old Spaniard, who lost to Dominic Thiem in the Buenos Aires final, will attempt to win his first tour-level title since Nice in May 2012.

“It was a tough match because I was playing against one of the most important players on the tour, a future star,” Almagro said. “The conditions were tough but I played with intensity and focus, and it worked.”

The big-hitting Almagro, who only dropped five points on his first serve in the match, fired seven aces on a breezy day against the Aussie to bring his tally to a tournament-leading 33. The Next Generation star broke Almagro twice, but surrendered his serve four times to succumb in straight sets. Kyrgios, currently a career-best No. 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was bidding to win his second ATP World Tour title after scoring his maiden tournament win in Marseille in February (d. Cilic).

“I thought he played better in the conditions today,” Kyrgios said. “I didn’t serve great but he was too good. For a first week on the clay, it wasn’t too bad. I played two quality matches.”

Facing Almagro in the final will be countryman Pablo Carreno Busta, who saw off third seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3. Carreno Busta failed to serve out the match at 5-2 in the second set, but recovered in the following game to even the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 2-2.

“I’m happy to be in another final, and after all the work I’ve put in during preseason with my new trainers, I think I deserve it,” Carreno Busta said. “I’m super excited for this final. Tomorrow I will give my best in order to win my first title.”

“[Pablo] was better. It was so windy today,” said Paire, who landed just 35 per cent of first serves in the match. “The key is to be at my best at the [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000 events, and there are two coming up. I will try my best to have results at these events.”

Surging Almagro Takes Out Kyrgios – ATP World Tour