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Nadal Advances into Vina Del Mar Semis

Rafael Nadal continued his comeback at Vina Del Mar this week with a straight sets win over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

By Erik Gudris

Rafael Nadal Vina Del Mar (February 8th, 2013) -- The near sellout crowd's expectations may not have been as fever pitched as during his opening singles match earlier in the week, but that didn't stop Rafael Nadal from earning another straight sets win at the VTR Open in Chile.

Nadal's opponent in his quarterfinal was fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Gimeno-Traver is probably best known for pushing Novak Djokovic to three sets in Madrid last year, but it was Nadal who did all pushing early on today as Nadal didn't face a break point en route to an easy 6-1 first set.

Gimeno-Traver settled into his own game though and made it more of a match in the second set by staying with Nadal in their rallies. At 4-all, Nadal made his move and earned the first break of the set when his opponent dumped a forehand into the net.

Nadal appeared ready to serve out the match with ease, but soon found himself engaged in the toughest and longest game of the whole afternoon. Gimeno-Traver traded forehand winners with Nadal and soon held break point on Nadal's serve. Nadal saved the game with a big serve that set up his first match point.

But Gimeno-Traver responded on the next point with a perfect lob followed by a deft drop shot winner to force things back to deuce. Gimeno-Traver would hold three more break points before Nadal set up his third match point with yet another big serve.

With the crowd urging Nadal on, he finally held serve when Gimeno-Traver shanked a forehand out of the arena. A delighted Nadal closed out the 6-1, 6-4 victory sending him into the semifinals.

Nadal will next face another player with a big forehand in No. 3 seed Jeremy Chardy. Chardy dismissed Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-3 to set up a first time meeting with Nadal tomorrow night.

The other semifinal will feature Argentina's Horacio Zeballos who upset No. 5 seed Albert Ramos 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(6). It will be the first semi for Zeballos since Houston in 2010. Zeballos will next play Carlos Berlocq who advanced after his opponent, Guillaume Rufin, withdrew due to an abdominal injury.
(Photo Credit: AP)


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