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Roland Garros Monday Diary: Family Man Almagro Finds Right Balance

Paris, France

Almagro© AFP/Getty ImagesRoland Garros quarter-finalist Nicolas Almagro is happier off the court after a move closer to his family.

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at Roland Garros on Monday.

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Family Man Almagro Happier Off Court
Nicolas Almagro explained how a move closer to his family has helped him feel more settled off the court, and in turn, on the court. The Spaniard, who beat Janko Tipsarevic on Monday to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals, revealed, "I wanted to be closer to my family. I needed to be with my nephews, my nieces. I was travelling all the time. I was too far away from home. It was difficult for me.

"But now that I feel closer to my family, I can take my car and visit them when I want. I feel a lot better. I think that these situations, these moments, I've lived them in the past already, or rather I wanted to live tennis too much and I didn't make the most of my family. Now I'm trying to enjoy each second, each minute of my life."

Murcia native Almagro also explained how former World No. 1 and 2003 Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero has helped his career. "Ferrero has helped me a lot through these difficult moments," said Almagro. "I discuss a lot with him. When you're close to a former No. 1 and when you're with a Roland Garros champion, there is a lot you can learn. This is what I want to learn day in and day out. I know I still have a lot to learn from him."

Tsonga: A Frenchman Won’t Win This Year
Despite advancing to the Roland Garros quarter-finals, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga maintains a Frenchman will not lift the trophy in Paris this season. Tsonga, the last Frenchman standing in the draw, plays Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

"I just did maybe 30 per cent of the way," he said. "The most difficult is coming. Before the tournament, I said that, for the moment, nobody's able to win this one because we never even won a [Masters] 1000 on clay. That's why I say that. For the moment we're not able to do that, but maybe one day it will happen, for sure."

Scrabble Win Gives Murray Boost
The night before his fourth-round match with Richard Gasquet, Andy Murray was up playing Scrabble with his girlfriend, Kim Sears. The Scot tweeted, "'Hernias' Always good to finish off the game with a 7 letter 88 pointer to beat the missus http://pic.twitter.com/hbPhMqyd"

French Players Take To Football Field
The traditional Roland Garros football match, featuring two teams of players and coaches, was taking place on Monday evening at Parc des Princes in Paris. Among those competing were current players Arnaud Clement, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Marc Gicquel and Alexander Waske, while former players Sebastien Grosjean, Nicolas Escude and Thierry Ascione were some of the former players to take to the field.

Ferrer Wishes Fiancée Happy Birthday
World No. 6 David Ferrer revealed that the ‘Feliz Cumpleanos’ he wrote on the camera lense after his fourth-round win on Monday was for his fiancée, not, as some suspected, for Rafael Nadal. "What I wrote was ‘happy birthday.’ It's my fiancée's birthday, my girlfriend. Rafa was yesterday. I like Rafa very much, but not that much," he laughed.

The 30-year-old Spaniard also credited a calmer demeanour for the success he has enjoyed in 2012. Ferrer, a winner of three ATP World Tour titles this season, said, "In 2012 I felt really good. I have to continue on this same path. That is, I have to remain calm and serene at present. In doing that, I'll better manage my stress. And also, I think I'll manage more things if I remain calm. This has helped me considerably. I can play at ease now at Roland Garros."

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