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Almagro edges closer to top 10 berth

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Originally published on: 20/04/11 12:18

Clay specialist Nicolas Almagro moved to within one of cracking the top 10 after progressing to the third round of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

The Spaniard saw off Pablo Andujar, who had claimed his first career title on the Casablanca clay in early April, in straight sets to close in on the elite pack, having never before surpassed the No.11 spot he first reached in July 2008.

The 25-year-old Murcia native slipped to as low as No.40 in the ladder last year, but has climbed back up the rankings and is close to assuming his place among the best of the bunch after a storming start to the year on the red stuff.

Almagro claimed back-to-back titles in Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires before compatriot David Ferrer denied him a clean sweep of the Latin American Golden Swing in the Acapulco final.

Almagro’s record for the year now reads 16 wins to just two losses and he’ll hope to build on his early season form with improved performances at the upcoming tournaments in Madrid and Rome. Almagro has reached just two quarter-finals and one semi-final in his 10 total appearances at the two Masters 1000 tournaments, and will hope a good run there can set him up for Roland Garros, where he has twice lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

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