Chinese tennis star Wu Yibing on his journey to ATP Tour
Nicolas Moreno De Alboran may have only got as far as the first round of the US Open this year, but at least the American didn’t have to endure a repeat of his nightmare at the Sevilla Challenger again as a consequence.
The world No. 131 made it through all three qualifying rounds at Flushing Meadows to secure his first-ever Grand Slam appearance but was beaten in straight sets by Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
His admirable achievements in New York have a more digestible feel to them when compared to the embarrassment he was forced to endure almost exactly a year ago to the day in Spain.
This year’s Sevilla Challenger Final will take place later today and it was at the very same tournament that Alboran saw his involvement ended after an unfortunate turn of events.
After seeing off Spaniards Imanol Lopez Morillo and Benjamin Winter Lopez in the qualifying rounds, the American faced Federico Delbonis next in the first round of the ATP event.
The Argentinian won the first set 7-5, but Alboran fought back to win the second in an 8-6 tie-break, leaving the match evenly poised.
The second set had been a 1-hour 21-minute grueller in the hot Spanish sun. During the toilet break, Alboran left the clay court and headed to the bathrooms where he used a shower to clean sand from his body that had caused a rash to appear.
But he was followed to the toilet by Delbonis, who on his return, informed officials that his opponent had taken an unauthorised shower break. It resulted in Albaron being thrown out of the tournament.
The American later released a statement on Instagram regarding the incident. He wrote: “During the second set, I fell over 3/4 times. On one of them sand got inside my underwear.
“I had to play like that for 30 minutes and it was giving me a rash that started bleeding after a while. When I won the second set, I went to the toilet to change (you get five minutes).
“When I saw that I couldn’t get the sand off with the towel since I was sweating so much. I decided to use the shower handle to only rinse the sand off.
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“My opponent told the umpire that came to the bathroom with us that I had taken a shower (which you are not allowed to do). The tournament referee then proceeded to default me from the tournament.
“On top of that, I will not receive the points or prize money from the tournament and will have to pay my hotel room for the days that I was playing in the tournament.
“This has nothing to do with the tournament or its organisation which was incredible all week long.”
Albaron may have been out of pocket and with bleeding thighs after his miserable experience in Seville, but the £65,000 he will have now banked for reaching the first round of the US Open should hopefully more than make up for it.
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