Nicolas Almagro, one of the leading forces in the “Spanish Armada” over the past decade, announced his retirement at the beginning of the week and just played his last singles match at an ATP Challenger event in Murcia, Spain.
The 33-year-old Spaniard is still in the doubles draw with Juan Antonio Marin.
The former world No. 9 had a career full of highlights, which included winning 13 titles, all on clay, and reaching an additional 10 finals. He won at least one title for seven straight years, from 2005 to 2012, and during that time, he was also part of the 2008 Davis Cup-winning team and reached three French Open quarterfinals.
He hit a title-winning drought that lasted several years with a troublesome knee injury hampering him, but broke through once again in 2016 to win the tournament in Estoril. Unseeded, he defeated countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in the final.
That would be his last title as more issues with the knee resurfaced, which the tennis world saw for itself in the second round of the 2017 French Open against Juan Martin del Potro. Forced to retire from the match, Almagro was consoled by someone who knows all too well how devastating injury can be.
While known primarily for his clay-court prowess, Almagro was more than capable of holding his own on hard courts. He reached at least the fourth round of the Australian Open for four consecutive years, topping out with a quarterfinal finish in 2013.
With his blistering one-handed backhand anchoring his potent ground game, Almagro was able to post wins over Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and John Isner, among other Top-10 stars over the course of his career—striking jaw-dropping shots along the way.
He’ll soon be joined by Ferrer on the sidelines, who’s playing his final tournament soon, making the Armada just a little smaller.
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