Buenos Aires rafaTop seeded Rafael Nadal eased into the semifinals of the Argentina Open Presented by Buenos Aires Ciudad with a comfortable victory over Federico Delbonis. If the Spaniard wins this tournament, he will record his 46th title win on clay courts to tie with Argentinian legend Guillermo Vilas. The other three semifinal spots were grabbed by Argentinians Carlos Berlocq and Juan Monaco and Spain’s Nicolas Almagro. While Monaco played tenaciously to defeat no.3 seed Pablo Cuevas, another Spaniard Nicolas Almagro also caused an upset by defeating compatriot Tommy Robredo in straight sets. Berlocq also came through by overcoming Slovenian Blaz Rola in straight It is an interesting semifinal line-up now with two Spaniards and two Argentinians remaining in the fray. To decide the first of the two final berths, Nadal takes on Carlos Berlocq while the match between Monaco and Almagro will decide the other finalist.

Rafael Nadal is a fighter to the core and he doesn’t want to get affected by the all-round criticism of his tennis form in recent times. He feels best on playing on clay and therefore he decided to compete in the Argentina Open at Buenos Aires, which is only an ATP250 event as against the two other ongoing ATP500 tournaments at Dubai and Acapulco. On Friday, he took another step to win his first tournament after the French Open 2014. It has been a long time and the former world no.1 has undergone several personal problems including a crucial appendicitis surgery. But that has not dimmed the fire within. Facing Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, the Spaniard didn’t have to break sweat in his 6-1, 6-1 victory. The World No.4 forced nine break points against Delbonis and won five of them. He played with a rhythm, kept his error count under control and prevailed over the Argentinian in the 62-minute match. He will face another Argentinian Carlos Berlocq for the place in Sunday’s final. Berlocq faced Slovenia’s Blaz Rola in the other quarterfinal and also had an easy time with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. The 32-year-old Berlocq broke Rola’s service 6 times in the 11 chances that he got in a match that lasted 79 minutes.

Another player from Argentina made it to the semifinal with a fighting victory over compatriot Pablo Cuevas. Monaco had won the Argentina Open in 2007 and he is making a bid for his second win here. In a difficult and long match, Monaco won the first set on tie break but lost the second in a return tiebreak as Cuevas fought back after Monaco served at 5-4 in the second set. But Cuevas rallied to force the tiebreak and thus the deciding third set. It was intriguing 2 hour 38 minute contest, which was decided, when Monaco again served at 5-4 in the final set and won the game at love to finish the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Monaco’s semifinal opponent will be Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who caused another quarterfinal upset by beating compatriot Tommy Robredo. In the battle between two former champions, Almagro didn’t face any problem with his 6-3, 6-2 victory over the off-color Robredo in just over one hour.