7 time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal had to work hard for his Sao Paolo semi-final spot. The Spaniard came back from a set down to defeat Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq, eventually prevailing 3-6 6-4 6-4.
After the players split the first two sets, Berlocq managed to break Rafa’s serve at the beginning of the decider to take a 3-1 lead. However, Nadal hang on tight and it paid off for him. Not only did he take the Artentine’s serve to level the score, he broke Berlocq once more at the end of the set and nothing could stop him from wrapping up the match.
Nadal will play another Argentine, lucky loser Martin Alund in Saturday’s semi-finals. Alund advanced after beating Italian Filippo Volandri 7-5 7-6 (5).
Elsewhere, former world no.3 David Nalbandian played some superb tennis to overcome second seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, winning 7-6 (5) 3-6 7-6 (3).
Defending and two times Sao Paolo champion Almagro earned his chances in today’s match, getting to 11 break points alltogether. However, he was able to convert only two of them in comparison to Nalbandian’s 1 out of 4 BP chances conversion. Despite Almagro hitting 28 aces throughout the encounter, it was the Argentine who got the edge in the third set ‘breaker’ and booked his semi-final place after 2 hours and 17 minutes.
Nalbandian will next face Italy’s Simone Bolelli, who eliminated Albert Montanes 6-4 6-4.