Fognini reaches quarters
Fabio Fognini (Getty Images)
Vina del Mar - Top-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-4, 7-6 (0) on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Royal Guard Open.
Fognini will face No. 5 Jeremy Chardy of France, who moved into the final eight by beating Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3. 7-6(5).
Third-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain won his first competitive match in more than three months, defeating Martin Alund of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
A shoulder injury forced Almagro to miss Sydney and the Australian Open.
Of his 12 titles on the ATP Tour, all on clay, six were on the Latin America swing, the most of any player. He's won in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, and bidding for his first win in Chile.
He will face first-time ATP quarterfinalist Daniel Taro, who beat eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6). Taro, a Japanese who entered as a qualifier, was born in New York but trains in Valencia, Spain, where he learned the clay-court game.
Unseeded Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain beat Hector Zeballos of Argentina 6-2, 6-4, and his opponent in the last eight will be Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, who advanced on Wednesday with a victory over No. 2 Tommy Robredo of Spain.
Rafael Nadal, the world's top clay-court player, skipped this event. On Thursday he pulled out of next week's event in Buenos Aires, saying a stomach virus had kept him from practicing. He also is recovering from a back injury. It is not clear if he will play the following week in Rio de Janeiro.