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Nadal breezes into quarters

Acapulco (Mexico), Feb 28, 2013 (IANS/RIA Novosti) 16:22 IST
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina during their men's singles match at the Mexican Open tennis tournament in Acapulco February 26, 2013. REUTERS
Second seed Rafael Nadal shot into the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 tournament here Thursday, eliminating Argentine qualifier Martin Alund.

Nadal met almost no resistance in the first set but had to save three break points in the second to gain a 6-0, 6-4 win.

The Spaniard, who won the tournament in 2005, will now face Argentine World No.77 Leonardo Mayer, who knocked out Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-2.

It is Nadal’s third tournament after a seven-month layoff with a knee injury. He reached the final of the Chile Open before grabbing his 51st career title in Sao Paolo.

Top seed David Ferrer, meanwhile, also had little trouble clearing the second-round hurdle as he blazed past Wayne Odesnik of the US 6-2, 6-1.

Ferrer, the champion for the last three years, will play Italy’s 57th-ranked Paolo Lorenzi in the quarterfinals.

Nicolas Almagro, seeded third, scraped past compatriot Tommy Robredo 6-4, 7-6(4) to book a quarterfinal encounter with eighth seed Horacio Zeballos of Argentina.

The last quarterfinal pair features two unseeded players: Italy’s World No.43 Fabio Fognini and Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, ranked 66th in the world.

The Acapulco tournament is a clay-court event. It offers a $1.2 million prize fund for men while for the women it is a lowly WTA international event offering prize money of $235,000.

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