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Nadal rallies to reach Brazil Open semifinal


Spain’s Rafael Nadal prepares to serve to Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq at the Brazil Open ATP tennis tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. AP

SAO PAULO — Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start and a difficult third set to defeat Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday, advancing to the semifinals of the Brazil Open.

Nadal jumped and thrust both of his arms into the air after he closed the match against the 78th-ranked Berlocq in 2 hours, 24 minutes, staying on track to win his first tournament after a long layoff to recover from a left knee injury.

Earlier, two-time defending champion and second-seeded Nicolas Almagro fell to David Nalbandian in three sets at the indoor clay-court tournament in South America’s biggest city.

With the crowd behind him, Nadal broke Berlocq’s service in the final game of the match to secure the victory and a spot in the semifinals.


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