30 Apr - 18:40

Almagro: "Having a child changes everything"

Nicolas Almagro is ready to defend his title at Millennium Estoril Open

The 32 year old Spaniard, 57.º ATP, lifted the trophy last year by defeating countryman Pablo Carreño-Busta in highly disputed final after a dream week in Clube de Ténis do Estoril where he overpowered local João Sousa and Nick Krygios.

Almagro retuns to the portuguese red clay with great ambitions but has his work cut out for him: in the first round he’ll face Frenchman Benoit Paire, a dangerous player capable of outstanding shots in any surface.

“It will be a tough match, Paire is a very talented player, with an incredible backhand and a very good serve. He can break the rhythm and I need to be on my guard,100% focused. Starting out with such a tough match is competitively good and will have to wait and see what happens”, said Almagro

The clay court specialist and former Top 10 player started the season on a strong note, reaching the quarter-finals in Qatar (def by Andy Murray) but since then has struggled to get good results. The lack of consistency is due to significant changes in his personal life, the murcian recently became a father for the first time and the event changed his outlook on life and tennis:

“Of course it changes everything. My competitive character is still there but at my age and with the career I’ve had, after so many years on the circuit, my son is now my priority. I hope he grows up to be happy and can enjoy life as much as I have. For me it was the biggest success of my life and naturally priorities shift. Now he is my number one priority”, shared Almagro  

Millennium Estoril Open will be Almagro’s fourth clay outing of the season, should he defeat Paire he’ll meet either Gastão Elias or Malek Jaziri in the second round.