Almagro advances to Barcelona quarters

Barcelona, Apr 25 (EFE).- Nicolas Almagro won an all-Spanish match-up Thursday at the Barcelona Open, outdueling Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals on a rain-soaked day.

Despite putting just 49 percent of his first serves in play, Almagro managed to drop serve just once throughout the one-hour, 33-minute match.

The No. 4 seed jumped out to an early lead against his countryman, who started cold but later played some solid tennis, particularly at the end of the first set and the start of the second.

But the 15th-seeded Granollers, who made just 45 percent of his first serves for the contest, lost his serve at 4-4 in the second set and Almagro finished off the match a game later.

The contest was one of just three round-of-16 matches to be completed on Thursday.

Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Russia's Dmitry Tursunov, who was unable to follow up his upset of top-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer with another win.

Argentina's Juan Monaco also moved through on Thursday, defeating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 7-6 (13-11) to set up a quarterfinal match-up against Almagro.

But five other round of 16 matches were postponed until Friday due to rain, including one pitting No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal against France's Benoit Paire.

Because of the weather interruption, Nadal, a seven-time champion in Barcelona, will have to win two matches on Friday to advance to the semifinals.

The Barcelona Open is one of the biggest clay-court events on the ATP calendar and a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets underway next month.