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.