Buenos Aires: Top-seeded David Ferrer of Spain beat Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-2, 6-4 on Friday to advance to the Copa Claro semifinals.
Ferrer next plays David Nalbandian, who defeated fellow Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 6-3.
Defending champion and second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain also reached the final four with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Igor Andreev of Russia.
Almagro’s semifinal opponent is No. 6 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, who defeated No. 4 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-2.
Ferrer broke Gonzalez in the ninth game of the second set, then served out to win the match.
“It was a difficult match,” Ferrer said. “Fernando is a great player, one of the greatest in history. And as a person he is even better.”
The 31-year-old Gonzalez has one more tournament left next month in Florida before he retires.
“The last tournament,” Gonzalez said, pausing to reflect on the words. “I’m glad I’ll have time to recover after all the running that David made me do.”
Almagro is trying to win back-to-back events after taking the Brazil Open last week.
“I’m happy after having beaten a great player like Igor,” Almagro said. “The second set was very tough.”
First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012, 12:19