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Defending champ Ferrer reaches Copa Claro semis

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Defending champion David Ferrer advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Claro clay court tournament on Friday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Fabio Fognini of Italy.

The top-seeded Ferrer will face fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who beat Julian Reister of Germany 6-3, 6-2.

"It will be a tough match,'' Ferrer said. "Each time I have played Tommy it has been a close match and I will have to play at my best to beat him.''

Ferrer holds a 5-2 edge in head-to-head matches, including the past two.

No. 2 Nicolas Almagro of Spain became the third Spaniard to reach the semifinals, defeating Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-1, 7-6 (3).

The possibility of four Spaniards in the semifinals ended when No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland defeated Albert Ramos of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-4 to set up a match with Almagro.

With his No. 4 ranking, Ferrer is a strong favorite to win his second tournament of the season. He defeated Almagro in last year's final.

Ferrer won the Heineken Open last month in Auckland, New Zealand, and will be going for his second title in two months.

Seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal skipped this event on his Latin American tour, after making his comeback from a knee injury by playing in Chile and Brazil. He will play next week in Acapulco, Mexico.