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Nadal Rallies Past Berlocq In Sao Paulo QFs; Nalbandian Edges Almagro

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Bolelli© Inovafoto/Brasil Open 2013Simone Bolelli is through to his first ATP World Tour semi-finals in more than five years.

Top seed Rafael Nadal overcame a break deficit in the third set to rally past Carlos Berlocq 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Brasil Open 2013 on Friday evening in Sao Paulo.

After winning the second set, Nadal found himself down 1-3 in the deciding set before completing the come-from-behind win in two hours and 24 minutes. He and Berlocq were facing off for the first time.

The 26-year-old Nadal is looking to win his 51st tour-level trophy. Last week, he returned from a left knee injury following a seven-month absence to reach the VTR Open final in Vina del Mar (l. to Zeballos). For a place in the final, Nadal plays lucky loser Martin Alund.

World No. 111 Alund continued his dream run, reaching the semi-finals with a 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over Filippo Volandri in one hour and 43 minutes. The 27-year-old Argentine had never won a tour-level match before competing in Sao Paulo and knocked out fourth seed Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

David Nalbandian edged two-time defending champion Nicolas Almagro 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(3) to book his place in the semi-finals. Nalbandian withstood 28 aces from the second-seeded Spaniard to prevail in two hours and 17 minutes. The former World No. 3 improved to 4-2 against Almagro in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The 31-year-old Argentine is bidding to win his first title since 2010, when he triumphed in Washington. Nalbandian has captured 11 trophies, with four coming on clay. He faces Simone Bolelli next.

The 80th-ranked Bolelli backed up his second-round upset win over third seed Juan Monaco by reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final in nearly five years with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Albert Montanes. The Italian converted three of his 11 break point chances and won 78 per cent of points on his first serve to wrap up the win in 85 minutes. He had last won an ATP World Tour quarter-final match at the 2008 BMW Open in Munich, where he went on to reach the final (l. to Gonzalez).

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