Almagro  – the two-time champion of the event (2008-09), had all the tools to win that final. He was on a career-best 13-match winning streak, enjoying tremendous support of the crowd, yet something didn’t work as he led 5:2* in the opener – he lost 12 out of the next 13 points. In the tie-break at 4-all he committed a double fault hitting casual second serve and the things got complicated. Admittedly he came back from a 1:3* deficit in the 2nd set, and 4:5 (0/30), but he was playing third consecutive week almost day-by-day and it could be a decisive factor in the long match (2 hours 42 minutes) vs three years older compatriot. Ferrer  converted the fifth match point and celebrated his title defense on his back.
Ferrer’s route to his 11th title:
1 Adrian Ungur 6-1, 6-3
2 Santiago Gonzalez 6-2, 6-2
Q Juan Monaco 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
S Alexandr Dolgopolov 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
W Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-2
The Ferrer vs. Almagro rivalry, it’s the most intriguing, lopsided H2Hs of the Open Era. Usually when a player owns the other one beating him ten times (or more) without a defeat, it comes after many one-sided matches, however, Ferrer in his 15 straight wins over Almagro, as many as seven times needed a deciding set, being four times really, really close to the loss. Almagro couldn’t win despite all possible configurations:
– close to win in straight sets (Cincinnati ’06, Australian Open ’13)
– close to win in deciding set (Valencia ’08, Madrid ’12)
– taking hypothetical shift of the momentum as he leveled up being close to lose in straight sets (Valencia ’09, Acapulco ’11)
Finally in the Buenos Aires ’16 semifinal, Almagro beat Ferrer on 16th attempt, 6-4 7-5 – with exactly the same scoreline could have won their first encounter which he lost 6-4 6-7 0-6 (Cincinnati ’06).
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