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Top-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy reaches semifinals on clay in Chile; Almagro also advances

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VINA DEL MAR, Chile - Top-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy defeated fifth-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Royal Guard Open clay-court tournament in Chile.

Fognini will face No. 3 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, who defeated Taro Daniel of Japan 6-2, 7-5. It was Daniel's first ATP quarterfinal match. Daniel lives in Spain, where he learned the clay-court game.

Almagro has won 12 ATP events — all on clay — and six in Latin America. He is looking for his first title in Chile.

In two other quarterfinals, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia won over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal skipped this event and pulled out of next week's tournament in Buenos Aires nursing a back injury and a stomach virus. He is expected to play the following week in Rio de Janeiro.

A spokesman said Nadal planned to arrive in Brazil next week.

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