Nicolas Almagro: 'I didn't choke'

David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro shake hands following their Australian Open quarter-final on January 22, 2013
© AP Photos
Nicolas Almagro insists that his failure to dispatch David Ferrer is not a problem with his mentality.

Nicolas Almagro was at a loss to explain how he managed to crash out of the Australian Open after being two sets up against David Ferrer.

The 10th seed served for the match on three occasions and looked certain to book a place in his first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.

However, the dogged Ferrer fought back to set up a clash with either Novak Djokovic or Tomas Berdych.

Almagro - who had not beaten his compatriot in 12 previous attempts - does not think that he choked.

"I don't want to think that it's a mentality problem," said Almagro. "If I have a mentality problem, I think I didn't win the first two sets.

"I don't know what's wrong. I think I played a really good match. It was close. It was a great battle. At the end it was really tough because I just started to feel some things at 4-3 in the third set on my ankle and on my adductor.

"After that it was really tough and he started to play better and better, and he is the winner."

Almagro has never been beyond the quarter-final of any Grand Slam tournament.

Spain's David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match at the  Australian Open tennis championship on January 20, 2013
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