Almagro, Monaco to meet in Barcelona Open quarters
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Nicolas Almagro will face Juan Monaco in the Barcelona Open quarterfinals after both won third-round matches in straight sets on Thursday.
Almagro defeated fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 on the outdoor red clay, after Argentina's Monaco outlasted Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a long second-set tiebreaker to win 6-0, 7-6 (11).
The rain held off at the Real Club de Tenis until former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero was honored after Almagro's match for his career that ended with his retirement at 32 last summer.
Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal is scheduled to play Benoit Paire of France later, while Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic will face off.
The fourth-seeded Almagro used his reliable ground game to ease past Granollers, converting three of four break chances. Granollers, managed only one break in seven opportunities.
Almagro unleashed a well-placed backhand shot down the line to take a one-set lead, and claimed the second set after saving a break with three straight points in the clincher.
He said he had recovered from a drop in blood sugar that had caused him to struggle through the second round.
"Physically, I feel much better than yesterday,'' said Almagro. "(Granollers) is always a tough opponent. We know each other so well from the circuit and the Davis Cup team. It's too bad we had to meet.''
Also, Dmitry Tursunov, the Russian qualifier who upset top-seeded David Ferrer on Wednesday, lost to Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
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