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Ferrer, Almagro On Buenos Aires Collision Course

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Almagro© Copa Claro/S. LlameraAlmagro improved to 9-0 on clay this season.

World No. 5 David Ferrer progressed to the Copa Claro semi-finals Friday, dismissing wild card Fernando Gonzalez 6-2, 6-4 in Buenos Aires.

Ferrer was effective with his return, winning 67 per cent of his second serve return points to break the Chilean three times in the 75-minute victory.

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The top seed is looking to win the trophy in his second appearance at the ATP World Tour 250 event. He was the finalist in 2010, edged out by countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero in the title match.

The Spaniard now faces David Nalbandian, who triumphed in the all-Argentine matchup with fellow unseeded player Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 6-3.

Former champion Nalbandian, winner in 2008 (d. Acasuso), made 70 per cent of first serves and took five of his eight break point opportunities to progress in 61 minutes.

Extending his FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against Berlocq to 3-0, having scored clay-court victories at Roland Garros 2008 and Santiago 2011, World No. 85 Nalbandian remains in contention for his 12th ATP World Tour title.

Defending champion Nicolas Almagro won his quarter-final, defeating Igor Andreev 6-3, 7-5.

The second seed capitalised on four of his six break point opportunities to pull even with the Russian 4-4 in their FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series. The World No. 11 is now 9-0 on clay this season, highlighted by his title defence at the Brasil Open 2012 in Sao Paulo last weekend.

On Saturday, Almagro will square off against No. 6 seed Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss reached his first semi-final of the year, cruising past fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-2.

Wawrinka won 70 per cent of his service points and broke the World No. 17 three times to claim their first FedEx ATP Head 2 Head meeting in one hour and 36 minutes. He is into the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour 250 event for the second time.

The 26-year-old Wawrinka is looking to win his fourth ATP World Tour title, and first since lifting the Aircel Chennai Open trophy in 2011. His two other title runs were on clay. Wawrinka holds a 3-2 edge over Almagro, but the Spaniard won their most recent encounter at the Australian Open in January.

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