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Monaco, Chela Finish Strong To Reach Vina SFs

Viña del Mar, Chile

Chela© Jim Rydell/VTR OpenJuan Ignacio Chela is making his ninth event appearance.

Top seed Juan Monaco bounced back to defeat No. 5 seed Albert Montanes 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in quarter-final action Friday at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar.

Monaco looked in danger of dropping to an 0-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the Spaniard, including a loss at this tournament six years ago, but came back strong after the first set. He converted all three of his break points in the second set and went two for five on his chances in the third to seal the win in just under two hours.

The 29-year-old Argentine, a finalist at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament in 2008 and '10, will next play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who secured his place in the final four with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win over Portugal's Frederico Gil. Chardy is making his Vina del Mar debut this week.

Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, the No. 2 seed, needed three hours to get by Brazilian Joao Souza 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-1 in his quarter-final match. World No. 25 Chela took better advantage of his opportunities, converting four of his eight break points, while the 108th-ranked Souza managed to capitalise on three of his 13.

Chela advances to the semi-finals at this clay-court tournament for the first time in nine appearances; he had bowed out in the quarter-finals in 2009 and '11.

Seventh-seeded Argentine Carlos Berlocq celebrated his 29th birthday by reaching a tour-level semi-final for the second time (2007 Bucharest). Berlocq, a Vina del Mar quarter-finalist in 2007 and '08, defeated countryman and qualifier Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes.

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