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Nalbandian into Copa Telmex semifinal
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15:50, February 23, 2008

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Argentine tennis star David Nalbandian edged Potito Starace of Italy 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Friday, advancing to the semifinals of the Copa Telmex.

In the tough duel, Nalbandian, the top seed, had more problems controlling the damp balls on the soggy clay than his seventh-seeded Italian rival.

The Argentine netted shots frequently in the first set as the match opened in light drizzle and had to be suspended for 25 minutes when rain became heavier.

But Nalbandian kept in the game with well-angled shots even though he made more unforced errors than Starace, who took the first set with two to breaks to one.

The Argentine lost his service in the first game of the second set and then heavy rain stopped play for 85 minutes. At 2-4 down after play resumed, Nalbandian rallied to win the set, taking a tiebreaker 7-5.

"It was a very hard match in the worst conditions for me," Nalbandian said.

Nalbandian will play fourth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina in the semifinal. Chela led fifth-seeded Nicolas Almagro6-3, 2-1 when the Spaniard retired because of a groin injury.

Source: Xinhua

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