Controversial exit: 'Did he take money?'

Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Photo / Sarah Ivey.
Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Photo / Sarah Ivey.

Spanish number 48 Nicolas Almagro didn't have a very long stint in this year's Australian Open.

The 31-year-old retired just four games into his round one clash with France's Jeremy Chardy, taking home a sweet $50,000 for his 23 minutes on the court.

Almagro's exit was met with a number of stern questions from the commentators.

"Questions to be asked: Did he take money?" Australia's Todd Woodbridge asked.

"Perhaps the Grand Slam is a look at two with such big prize money on offer. Maybe it was a chance for the lucky loser to have a better opportunity than that. We'll find out more on the entry a little later."

It's not the first time the Spaniard has exited a Grand Slam in the first round, either, withdrawing from the French Open in 2014 with a foot injury.

Almagro later revealed he wasn't there for the huge first round payout, telling the media he already had a healthy wallet.


"I went to court because I think I can play. I was top 10, I have more than 10 million dollars. I'm not going to play for $50,000. It is not the reason," he said after the game.

"I was trying to play during the week. It was tough. I did an MRI and the result wasn't good. That's it. I couldn't play. I felt the problem again on court and I had to retire.

"I considered it (withdrawing) but I was practising, I didn't feel it during the week. I decided to play today."

In other huge Open news, world number four Simona Halep was outed in the first round at Melbourne for the second year in a row, falling in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) to world number 52 Shelby Rogers.

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