Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs.  Thiago Monteiro (BRA)
Both players were feeling the pressure and as usual, the more experienced player was able to handle the occasion better. Monteiro started the match playing accurate tennis, he could not miss. There was no expectation and he felt no tension and went for every shot with vigor. He caught the defending champion, Ramos-Vinolas, off guard and won the first set 6-3.
Ramos-Vinolas has grown in confidence and dropping the first set did not bother him in the least. Monteiro on the other hand began to feel the pressure of expectation from the crowd, the thought of upsetting the defending champion now was a viable possibility and tension entered his thoughts and he began to miss his shots.
It takes more than one set to win a tennis match and most experienced players know that on any given day they can meet a player who is red-hot who can steal a set. They are also aware that it’s often very difficult for the inexperienced or lower ranked player to maintain such a high level of play the entire match and they patiently wait for their level to drop. Ramos-Vinolas never seems troubled even when it looks like defeat is inevitable; he calmly maintains his focus and continues with his game plan.
Today was no exception, despite dropping the first set and giving back the break in the third, he just stayed calm and broke again to win the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. He keeps hope alive of defending his title; however, he will have to get by last year’s finalist, Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals first. Verdasco may want a little revenge though, so expect this to be a tough obstacle for the defending champion to overcome.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Bing search (medias.lequipe.fr)