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Semis against Nalbandian

12.05.2006 | Tennis

Roger needed five match points to close out a tough 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-5 win over Spanish qualifier Nicolas Almagro in the Rome Masters quarterfinals.

 

The 20-year-old Almagro, one of the most improved players on tour, ripped baseline winners throughout the match as Roger struggled to hold serve. After winning the first set comfortably, he served for the second at 5-4 and double-faulted on his first match point. Almagro then hit two blistering backhands to break Roger's serve for 5-5.

 

Almagro hit 31 winners to Roger's 30. Almagro's ranking has climbed from No. 111 at the end of last season to 54th. He won his first career title in Valencia last month and reached the semifinals in Barcelona. Roger has lost two matches all year, both to Rafael Nadal, who he could face again in the final here.

 

Roger will next face third-ranked David Nalbandian, who beat Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-3.

 
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