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Defending champion out in Santiago

Feb. 4, 2011 at 9:38 PM

SANTIAGO, Chile, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Fabio Fognini eliminated defending champion Thomaz Bellucci Friday in the quarterfinals of the Movistar Open, an event that has lost its top four seeds.

Players seeded fifth through eighth have survived to play in Saturday's semifinals.

Fognini downed Bellucci 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-0) to set up a semifinal meeting with Tommy Robredo, who was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Maximo Gonzalez.

Potito Starace, who is the highest seed left at No. 5, advanced by downing Horacio Zeballos 6-7 (9-11), 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

Santiago Giraldo will meet Starace in the semifinals after ousting fourth-seeded Ignacio Chela 6-4, 6-3.

This week begins the series of clay-court events that will lead up to the French Open, the second major championship of the season.

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