SAO PAULO, Feb. 16 (UPI) --
Defending champion and No. 1 seed Nicolas Almagro battled his way into the quarterfinals Thursday at the Brazil Open.
Almagro, who made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing in four close sets to Tomas Berdych, defeated Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 to earn his third quarterfinal berth in four events this year.
He will face fifth-seeded Carlos Berlocq in the quarterfinals after Berlocq rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Potito Starace.
Fernando Verdasco, the No. 3 seed, advanced by downing Javier Marti 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5 and that set up a quarterfinal duel with Albert Ramos.
The eighth-seeded Ramos survived against qualifier Igor Andreev 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4).
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