Ramos-Vinolas Relishing His Best Week Ever
Spaniard plays Nadal in Monte-Carlo final
The finest week of Albert Ramos-Vinolas’ career will have a final chapter on Sunday. The Spaniard, who will play his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters against Rafael Nadal, is receiving a perfect reward for his demanding pre-season.
“It was hard, quiet and specific work,” said the World No. 24 to ATPWorldTour.com after his semi-final win on Saturday over Lucas Pouille. “I focused on very detailed things to work on, not just with tennis, but also physically. At the beginning of the year, the pre-season work didn’t pay off in Australia. The court was very quick for me and in my case does not help. I was really prepared and leaving that early was a disappointment. In South America, everything started to come together and now everything is working better than ever.”
Ramos-Vinolas’ run this week will push him into the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time. The 29 year old has found his best level after a long journey that was relatively low-key until this moment.
“I have no idea why my best level arrived at age 29. I guess it’s a matter of maturing. I had a few bad years when I was 24 and 25. After reaching No. 38, I made decisions that were not great, including nutrition decisions, then things didn’t happen the way I expected,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “I would say that the past year has been when I had the biggest change. I was improving constantly, but I was also having an ascending line.”
Ramos-Vinolas describes himself as a quiet and normal guy, but admitted he can have nerves like everyone else. He said the challenge will be to try and control his emotions when facing the nine-time Monte-Carlo champion Nadal.
“I look like a quiet guy, but everybody has nerves. I won’t be an exception. I’ll be nervous. I’ll try my best not to think that is a Masters 1000 final and just focus on what I have to do,” said the Spaniard. “Maybe I am playing my best tennis, but when you are competing, you don’t realise it. I focus only on the match, not the emotions. Everything is coming together and clicking, but I haven’t finished yet.”
The final in Monte-Carlo is the fourth all-Spanish final in the tournament’s history, once again showing great state of Spanish tennis, particularly on clay.
“It really confirms Nadal’s dominance. It’s my first final, but he is always there. Rafa is Rafa and everybody knows him,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “Will I have more results like this one? I’ll try to, for sure. I know I’m not the favourite, but I’ll go out there and compete. The most important thing is to fight and hang in there.”