ATP Tour

Almagro avenges Houston loss

Nicolas Almagro (AFP)
Nicolas Almagro (AFP)

Madrid - World number 20 Nicolas Almagro overcame fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 to move into the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open on Thursday, avenging his defeat in the Houston final.

Verdasco had beaten Almagro to take the title in Houston 11 days ago, but the sixth seed took his revenge as just one break in the eighth game was enough to take the first set.

Both men broke towards the start of the second set, but again Almagro made his move again towards the end of the set as he broke once more to seal victory.

Almagro will face top seed Rafael Nadal or Croatia's Ivan Dodig in the last eight, who are in action later on Thursday.

There was to be no such joy for another Spaniard Tommy Robredo, though, as he succumbed to 12th seed Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-7 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5).

Cilic will face Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori in the quarters as he eased to a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev.

Nishikori is making his first appearance of the season on clay in the Catalan capital and after struggling past Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets on Tuesday, he seemed more at ease as he equalled his best-ever run in Barcelona by reaching the last eight.

Ninth seed Ernests Gulbis also secured his place with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Albert Montanes.

The Latvian will face Russia's Teimuraz Gabashvili in the last eight after he continued his fine week after shocking second seed David Ferrer on Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Inigo Cervantes.

Results from the fourth day of the ATP Barcelona Open on Thursday (x denotes seeding):

Third round
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x6) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x11) 6-3, 6-3
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x10) bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 7-5, 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN x4) bt Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 6-0, 6-4
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt Inigo Cervantes-Huegun (ESP) 6-4, 6-2
Ernests Gulbis (LAT x9) bt Albert Montanes (ESP) 7-5, 6-1

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