Melbourne - Nicolas Almagro denied he had a
"mentality problem" on Tuesday after he let slip a gilt-edged chance at the
Australian Open to reach his first major semi-final and end his winless
record against David Ferrer.
The Spanish 10th seed with the
smooth, one-handed backhand played two sumptuous sets and served three
times for the match, but he simply couldn't get over the line.
also lost a fourth-set tiebreak as Ferrer, the fourth seed, got off the
hook 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 and reached his second semi-final at
The result was agonising for Almagro, 27, who has
now gone 34 Grand Slam tournaments without reaching the last four, and
has never beaten Ferrer in 13 attempts.
Almagro also lost the
decisive rubber in the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic in
November. But he dismissed suggestions of mental fragility, saying he
was struggling with ankle and adductor muscle problems against Ferrer.
you're not 100 percent to play, I don't know if it's mental or not," he
said. "I think I tried to play my best tennis today. I said a few days
ago I will try to play aggressive, I will try to play my best tennis,
and I think I did today(Tuesday).
"It wasn't enough to beat David. But
we'll see what happens in the future. I am ready to work and we'll see. I
don't know. I don't think that it's a mentality problem.
"If I had mentality problem, I don't think I would have won the first two sets."
He added: "But today(Tuesday) was a big opportunity for me. Well, I'm going to work to be ready for the next."