Albert Ramos Viñolas, recently crowned champion of the ATP 250 in Estoril, arrived at his 9th Mutua Madrid Open intent on producing his first win, and he delivered (7-5, 5-7, 6-5). However, Taylor Fritz did not make it easy for him, forcing a third and definitive set that the Spaniard eventually claimed after 2 hours and 29 minutes of play, and nor did the physical problems that plagued the No. 37 in the ATP ranking in the second set: “I went to the doctor and it seems like it’s nothing serious. I hope to be fine tomorrow”. Despite everything, the Catalonian player sealed his passage to the second round of the Madrid Masters 1000.
Tomorrow, Ramos will face Argentine player Federico Delbonis, an opponent who “perhaps is not the best known to fans”, according to the Spaniard, but someone he knows “very well” and against whom he is sure he will have “a very tough match”. This will be the seventh time the two players have met, with 4 wins for the No. 77 in the ATP ranking and 2 for the player from Barcelona. Interestingly, the first time Ramos and Delbonis played each other in a main draw was in the first round of the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, a match that would go to the South American. In preparation for their latest clash, Ramos will try to “rest as much as possible to be able to play a good match tomorrow”.
An important factor in his bid to reach the third round will be the presence of fans in the stadium. “It’s very special playing here in Madrid, the fans are always devoted and intense”, recognised Ramos. In fact, for the home players it is always a bonus having the support of the local spectators, something that the Catalonian player says he has felt every time he has set foot on the Caja Mágica clay: “Whenever I play here I feel like the fans cheer me on a lot and in difficult moments they always try to pick you up”. Although the players are missing being able to “go for dinner” or “take a stroll” around Madrid, the No. 37 in the ATP ranking spoke about how privileged they feel: “We are lucky to be able to play during these difficult times”.