VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP)—Third-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain celebrated his first competitive match in more than three months with a win to reach the Royal Guard Open quarterfinals, defeating Martin Alund of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday.
A shoulder injury forced Almagro to miss Sydney and the Australian Open.
Of his 12 titles on the ATP Tour, all on clay, six were on the Latin America swing, the most of any player. He's won in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, and bidding for his first win in Chile.
He will face first-time ATP quarterfinalist Daniel Taro, who beat eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6). Taro, a Japanese who entered as a qualifier, was born in New York but trains in Valencia, Spain, where he learned the clay-court game.
Unseeded Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain beat Hector Zeballos of Argentina 6-2, 6-4.
In late matches, No. 5 Jeremy Chardy of France faced Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, and No. 1 Fabio Fognini of Italy was up against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.