The top-seeded Ferrer had little trouble in his second-round match on the clay courts of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, dispatching Argentine wild card Agustin Velotti 6-4, 6-1.
The Spanish star's next opponent will be Nalbandian, the 2008 champion who needed three sets to get past countryman Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Other Buenos Aires winners on Day 3 included No. 6 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy, who sped past Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-3, and Argentine lucky-loser Marco Trungelliti, who advanced in a walkover against countryman Facundo Arguello.
Ray Liotta sues skin care company over use of likeness
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints