ATP WORLD TOUR
Spanish seed Nicolas Almagro reached the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday before rain wrecked more than half of the third-round program.
Second seed Rafael Nadal was due to face French 13th seed Benoit Paire, but never got started due to the weather.
His match was moved to yesterday though forecasts remained grim for the ensuing days, with more rain likely.
In a match stranded on court, Slovak Martin Klizan led German eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-7 (2/7), 4-3.
Beside Nadal, third-round matches involving seeds including No. 3 Tomas Berdych, No. 5 Milos Raonic and No. 6 Kei Nishikori were all postponed.
Almagro, seeded fourth, defeated compatriot Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, in 93 minutes.
Argentine Juan Monaco, the No. 7 seed, put out French 10th seed Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 7-6 (13/11) while Brazilian No. 16 Thomaz Bellucci ended the upset run of Dmitry Tursunov 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The Russian qualifier had knocked out top seeded Spaniard David Ferrer the day before, leaving second seed Nadal with a gilt-edged opportunity for an eighth title from nine appearances at the Real Club de Tenis.
Almagro broke Granollers three times to set up his quarter-final with Monaco. The Spaniard leads the Argentine four wins to three, with Monaco winning their last two over the past two seasons.
“I have a tough quarter-final, so I don’t want to look any further,” the Spaniard said. “I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself than is necessary.”
“I’m eager to win the title. I’m playing well and being more aggressive on court. Tomorrow will be difficult, but I’m on good form and have the crowd support,” he said.
Almagro’s victory was his seventh without a loss against Granollers. Almagro has twice reached Barcelona semi-finals (2006, 2011) and is competing at the event for the 10th time.
He improved to 19-9 in Barcelona as he won his 13th clay match of the season.
NASTASE TIRIAC TROPHY
Top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic marched into the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Santiago Giraldo of Colombia on Thursday.
Tipsarevic dropped serve just once and saved eight of the nine break points he faced.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain will face Tipsarevic after beating Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Romania’s Victor Hanescu eliminated fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 6-3 and No. 5 Florian Mayer passed David Goffin of Belgium 7-6 (7/2), 1-6, 6-3. Hanescu was due to play Mayer yesterday.
The other quarter-finals were due to feature defending champion Gilles Simon playing Daniel Brands, and eighth-seeded Viktor Troicki going up against Lukas Rosol.