Spaniards David Ferrer, Nicolas three seeds, were among the winners Wednesday in the second round of the Heineken Open.
The top-seeded two-time Auckland champion Ferrer rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in his 2012 season-opener, while the second- seeded Almagro breezed past Colombia's Santiago Giraldo by the same score. The third-seeded Verdasco had to work a little harder in his straight-set win over Argentina's Carlos Berlocq, posting a 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) triumph.
A pair of seeds went by way of the upset on Day 3, as French qualifier Benoit Paire ousted No. 4 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 and pesky Belgian Olivier Rochus outlasted No. 6 Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5).
Eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 2008 Auckland champion, avoided an upset by overcoming promising American Ryan Harrison, a wild card this week, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on the hardcourts at ASB Tennis Centre. Kohlschreiber will meet Almagro's in the round of eight.
Thursday's other quarters will pit Verdasco against his compatriot Garcia- Lopez and Rochus versus Paire.
The winner of this final Australian Open tuneup will collect $71,900.