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Almagro Sets Monaco Clash; Rain Delays Nadal

Barcelona, Spain

Monaco© Manuel QueimadelosJuan Monaco will face Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals after beating Jeremy Chardy.

Friday will be busy at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell after rain washed out much of the third-round action on Thursday. Seven-time former champion Rafael Nadal will be among those players who may need to play twice on Friday to advance to the semi-finals. 

The rain began to fall right as Nadal was due to take the court for his clash with Benoit Paire. The Spaniard has won 35 matches in a row at the ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament, with his last loss coming 10 years ago in a second-round meeting with Alex Corretja.

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Three matches were completed before the rain set in and fourth seed Nicolas Almagro set a quarter-final clash with Juan Monaco after he won an all-Spanish contest with Marcel Granollers, 6-3, 6-4. Almagro closed out victory in one hour and 33 minutes, before rain began to fall, saving six of the seven break points he faced. Almagro leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Monaco 4-3, but has lost his past two meetings with the Argentine.

The 27-year-old Almagro has a 13-5 record on clay this season, finishing runner-up in Houston (l. to Isner) and reaching the semi-finals in Acapulco (l. to Nadal) and Buenos Aires (l. to Wawrinka). 

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Monaco continued his recent run of good form with a 6-0, 7-6(11) victory over 10th seed Jeremy Chardy. The Argentine reached the Houston semi-finals (l. to Isner) and took eventual champion Novak Djokovic to three sets in the third round of last week’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. He improved to a 9-8 match record on the season as he saved five of the six break points he faced and broke Chardy four times for victory in one hour and 42 minutes.

Dmitry Tursunov couldn’t back up his second-round upset win over top seed David Ferrer, falling to Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in just under two hours. The No. 16-seeded Bellucci is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since finishing runner-up in Moscow (l. to Seppi) in October 2012.

Lindstedt/Nestor Reach Semi-finals
Third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Daniel Nestor advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-4, 7-6(6) victory over Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. The 40-year-old Nestor is a four-time former champion in Barcelona, while Lindstedt is seeking to win the title for the first time.

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© Manuel Queimadelos


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