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The loud, collective groan you just heard was from the Tennis Channel and NBC TV executives who just had their dream semifinal dashed by Nicolas Almagro.
Wait, who? Are you kidding me?
Almagro spoiled it.
First there was Nadal going for a record-tying sixth French Open. Then there was the greatest champion to ever play the game in Federer. Plus there was the Nadal-Federer rivalry that was finally rekindled.
Djokovic was knocked out, but that was fine because the hometown underdog hero took his place, which actually makes for equally as good drama. Roland Garros would inevitably set up some type of "Heman Hill" outside the stadium, and organizers would buy five thousand French flags. NBC would pan to it 30 times a set, and at some point Marry Carillo would wander into the audience to feel the excitement. Oh, the goose bumps.
So it's all set. The last piece of the puzzle would be the fiery, scrappy Scotsman, making his way through the draw fighting for recognition...
Scratch that. Insert Almagro.
While TV execs might be looking him up now, they will be plenty pleased by the time the semis roll around. Almagro is a passionate player who sometimes teeters on the edge of volatile with occasional wild, explosive outbursts.
After watching Almagro play though, you can't help but root for him. The guy plays with his heart on his sleeve and goes for broke on almost every point. With a penchant for hitting the lines, Almagro defies the typical clay court player. Deuce called Almagro a "temperamental talent" and said watching him play is like watching a tempest in a teacup.
All the more reason to hope he makes the semifinals.