• Nalbandian, Almagro advance to Buenos Aires quarters

    2/18/11 5:04 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nalbandian, Almagro advance to Buenos Aires quarters David Nalbandian destroys Juan Pablo Brzezicki in the Buenos Aires second round on Thursday. Nalbandian is joined in the quarterfinals by Nicolas Almagro, a three-set winner over Leonardo Mayer.

    (3) David Nalbandian d. (Q) Juan Pablo Brzezicki 6-1, 6-2

    Brzezicki enjoyed a fine week at the Copa Claro having qualified for the main draw and advancing into round two past Filippo Volandri, but he was out of his league against Nalbandian on Thursday. The underdog Argentine dropped serve a ridiculous seven times in eight service games. He managed to break Nalbandian twice, but that still gave him just three total games over the course of the match.

    Nalbandian dominated in every facet of the game throughout set one. The third-seeded Argentine lost only six points in three service games and earned three breaks, including at 5-1 to finish off the opening frame of play in style. Nalbandian started to get sloppy in the second and dropped serve twice, but he was so dominant in the return game that it hardly mattered. Next up for Nalbandian is a quarterfinal clash with No. 6 seed Tommy Robredo, who dismissed fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

    (1) Nicolas Almagro d. Leonardo Mayer 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-3

    Coming off a title in Costa do Sauipe, Almagro survived a minor scare in second-round Buenos Aires action on Thursday. The Spaniard was extended to a first-set tiebreaker with an injury-plagued Mayer, as both men broke once during set one. Mayer dominated the 'breaker seven points to three for a surprising early advantage.

    From there, however, it was all Almagro. This week's No. 1 seed lost just four games the entire rest of the way. He saved all three of the break points he faced in set two and dropped a mere five service points in the third while winning all 18 of his first-serve points. Mayer recovered slightly in the third after a dismal middle set, but one break was all his opponent needed to advance. Almagro will do battle against unseeded Jose Acasuso for a spot in the semifinals.

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Headed for a David - Nico showdown. And both in good form. Looking forward to it.

mara002 , 2/18/11 5:43 AM

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