VTR OPEN 2013
Nadal Beats Gimeno-Traver For SF Berth; Chardy Up Next
Vina del Mar, Chile
by ATP Staff|
Top seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the VTR Open semi-finals on Friday, defeating seventh-seeded countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 in Vina del Mar. Nadal improved to a 2-0 record against his compatriot.
"Today I had more confidence than the other days," said Nadal. "That is positive. It gives me confidence, and reasons to believe that I'm on the right way. I'm happy to win in singles against a tough opponent like Dani and to reach the semi-finals after seven months.
"In this tournament I had a good feeling. The crowd gave me their support all the time. It helps a lot when you come with a bad feeling."
Nadal broke Gimeno-Traver three times and wiped away four break points against his serve in the final game of the match to wrap up the quarter-final victory in 84 minutes.
The 11-time major champion is looking to triumph on his season debut, having been sidelined for seven months with a left knee injury. Nadal has the best career match record on clay in the Open Era with a 256-19 mark. He is seeking his 37th clay-court trophy this week.
The 26 year old faces No. 3 seed Jeremy Chardy in the semi-finals. Chardy beat sixth seed Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-3 to equal his showing at the event last year. Chardy won 89 per cent of his first serve points to claim victory in 64 minutes. He improved to 6-3 in 2013, highlighted by reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open (l. to Murray).
Horacio Zeballos knocked out a seeded opponent for the second day in a row, edging fifth seed Albert Ramos 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(6). Zeballos prevailed in two hours and 36 minutes to win the pair’s first meeting.
The 27-year-old Argentine is through to his first ATP World Tour semi-final since appearing in the last four at Houston in 2010. Last season, Zeballos did not advance past the second round at any of the tour-level events he entered, but went on to capture three ATP Challenger titles to break back into the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. He entered this week as the World No. 73.
For a place in the final, Zeballos takes on eighth-seeded compatriot Carlos Berlocq. The returning finalist advanced when Guillaume Rufin withdrew prior to their quarter-final match with an abdominal strain.