The Massive Upset That Made Ramos-Vinolas Feel Like He Belonged
Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas isn't ready to stand on a podium and shout, “I'm back!” But his play on Wednesday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open has the 31-year-old encouraged that he can again find the level that took him to his biggest final to date, the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he fell to Rafael Nadal.
Ramos-Vinolas, No. 91 in the ATP Rankings, routed Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-3 to make the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 event.
“I played really good today. I'm really happy. I was really concentrating during all the match, and I think I played a great level, maybe I played the same level as two years ago, when I was playing really good,” Ramos-Vinolas told ATPTour.com. “Every match is different so [Thursday] is another chance to play good and I will try for sure.”
Ramos-Vinolas will meet Japan's Taro Daniel for a place in the semi-finals. The Spaniard last reached a semi-final in February 2018 in Quito.
Before his semi-final, Ramos-Vinolas remembered the “First Time” he felt like he belonged on the ATP Tour, why he was glad he splurged for first class for the first time, and why he didn't buy a new Peugeot with his first big prize money check.
First pinch-me moment on the ATP Tour
The first time I won an ATP match in Barcelona in 2010. It's my home tournament... I passed the qualies and I won my first match and then I beat Fernando Gonzalez, who was No. 12 in the world.
I was No. 161. It was maybe one of the best moments of my career. It was on Court 1, which is not the centre court, but it's quite big.
Everybody there was supporting me, and obviously my level was worse than Fernando Gonzalez, but I fought like crazy and I won... I still remember the feeling: I was really happy. Everybody was thinking that it was not possible.
So they were supporting me like crazy, like when a big football team is playing against maybe one from the second division, and the second division team wins. Everyone was supporting me like crazy. It was a great atmosphere.
First thing I bought with prize money
Ha, ha. I try to save as much as I can because after tennis, I don't know what I'm going to do.
First autograph/photo I got
I don't remember because I don't like photos or autographs. I didn't ask. When I went to the tournament in Barcelona, when I was really young, I was more trying to watch how they played more than wanting an autograph or a photo... I watched Bruguera, Corretja, Moya, Albert Costa.
First time I flew first class
In 2011, I was in Houston... I lost on Thursday night and I had to play qualies in Monte-Carlo on Saturday, and I had my flight Friday afternoon... I took business and I arrived the same day and I played really good, no pressure... I lost the last qualifying but the first match I played really good.