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Nadal, Almagro Win Sao Paulo Openers; Monaco Upset

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Nadal© Inovafoto/Brasil Open 2013Rafael Nadal did not lose serve in his Sao Paulo opener against Joao Souza.

Top seed Rafael Nadal won his opener at the Brasil Open 2013 on Thursday, defeating Joao Souza 6-3, 6-4. Nadal broke the Brazilian once in each set to take the first-time meeting in 78 minutes.

Nadal is playing the event for the second time, having triumphed on his debut in 2005 when the ATP World Tour 250 indoor clay-court tournament was held in Costa do Sauipe. The Spaniard is contesting his second event since beginning his comeback from a left knee injury. Last week, Nadal reached the VTR Open final in Vina del Mar, falling to Horacio Zeballos in a close three-set battle.

In the quarter-finals, Nadal faces Carlos Berlocq, who beat eighth seed Albert Ramos 7-6(7), 6-4.

Second seed and three-time champion Nicolas Almagro fired 18 aces past Chilean qualifier Paul Capdeville in a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2 victory to record his 20th match win at the event. Almagro squares off against David Nalbandian next. The Argentine cruised past compatriot Guido Pella 6-4, 6-2 in 63 minutes. Nalbandian won 26 of his 29 first serve points and did not face a break point.

World No. 15 Juan Monaco suffered his third opening-round exit of the year, when the third-seeded Argentine lost to Italian Simone Bolelli 7-5, 6-2 in 76 minutes. Bolelli, who beat 2009 titlist Tommy Robredo on Monday, converted four of his six break point opportunities to break a two-match losing streak against Monaco.

Watch Bolelli Interview 

Italy's Filippo Volandri knocked out fifth seed Thomaz Bellucci, dismissing the home favourite 6-3, 6-2. Volandri broke Bellucci six times to advance in 69 minutes.

Albert Montanes eased past seventh-seeded countryman Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-2 to move ahead 3-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Montanes saved all seven break points he faced. 

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