Almagro to face Monaco in Barcelona quarters

Nicolas Almagro of Spain. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
April 25, 2013, 9:10 AM

BARCELONA, Spain — Nicolas Almagro and Juan Monaco both won third-round matches at the Barcelona Open on Thursday before rain forced the rest of the matches to be postponed.

The two will meet in the quarterfinals after Almagro defeated fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 on the outdoor red clay, and 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 honoured after Almagro’s match for his career that ended with his retirement at age 32 last summer.

It then began to pour, and the rest of the day’s third-round action, including seven-time winner Rafael Nadal’s match with Benoit Paire of France, had to be pushed to Friday after the weather didn’t improve.

Tournament director Albert Costa said the forecast was for more rain on Friday, but that "we will try to play when we can" and even have players play two games in one day.

"I feel bad because we may have games on courts that are not ideal," said Costa. "But the players are physically prepared for it and know that it is a possibility."

Before the weather turned bad, the fourth-seeded Almagro used his reliable ground game to ease past Granollers, converting three of four break chances. Granollers, meanwhile, managed only one break from 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 recovered from a drop in blood sugar that 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, was beaten by Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Martin Klizan led Philipp Kohlschreiber in their rain-suspended match 6-1, 6-7 (2), 4-3.

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