Almagro ousted in rainy Auckland

Second-seeded Nicolas Almagro was a quarterfinal upset victim before rain halted play Thursday at the Heineken Open, a final hardcourt Australian Open tuneup.

Eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber took out the Spanish Almagro 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 at ASB Tennis Centre, where rain prevented a pair of quarterfinals from being completed on Day 4.

One other result saw pesky Belgian Olivier Rochus outlast French qualifier Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4). Rochus will meet the 2008 Auckland champion Kohlschreiber in a semifinal here on Friday.

Third-seeded Fernando Verdasco was leading fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia- Lopez 3-1 in the opening set when play was called because of wet weather, and a match between top-seeded and defending champion David Ferrer of Spain and Colombian Alejandro Falla was postponed altogether.

The Ferrer-Falla winner will meet the Verdasco-Garcia-Lopez victor in the other semi.

The two-time Auckland champion Ferrer bested Argentine star David Nalbandian in last year's Auckland finale.

The 2012 Auckland champion will collect $71,900.