By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 20, 2013) Tenth seed Nicolas Almagro has progressed through to his first Australian Open quarterfinal after Janko Tipsarevic retired injured down a set and 2-5 in the second set.
The Serbian looked frustrated and uncomfortable for the duration of the short lived match, requiring a medical time out at 2-5 down in the first set to get some extra padding and taping added to his heel on his already taped up left foot.
In the second set he was unable to play his best tennis and after being broken for the second time he pulled the pin on the match. In the post match press conference Tipsarevic said the initial diagnosis was a jarred heel and that before the match he was feeling good and had fully recovered from his previous two five set encounters. He said it was very frustrating to have to end the match under such circumstances.
The retirement puts Almagro through to his first Australian Open quarterfinal, equaling his best appearance at a Grand Slam, having reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros on three occasions. He will take on David Ferrer in an all-Spanish quarterfinal and goes into the match having lost all 12 previous encounters with his compatriot.
Regardless of the head-to-head statistics Almagro is looking forward to playing his good friend in their first Grand Slam match-up and said it “is a big opportunity for me to be in a semifinal. I’m ready to fight. I’m healthy and I’m happy with my tennis.”
“I’m playing good. I’m hitting the ball with confidence, playing really aggressive, going to the net to close the point, and, well, that’s it.”
When asked if he knew that something was wrong with Tipsarevic, Almagro said “Well, I don’t know. I don’t think so. I was talking with him and he said the problem start at 4-1 of the first set and after that he couldn’t move really well and he decide to retired.”
On weather Tipsarevic’s condition played on his mind he said, “Well, I was trying to be focused on my match, on my tennis. Well, I think I play a really good first set. After that, the mind start to work a little bit because you know something happen but you don’t know really good what happen.”
“But I think I was very focus all the match. With 5-1 in the second set, was really tough for him. I think he decide to stop because the injury would be worse.”
Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.