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Almagro sneaks into Bastad quarters

Former champion Nicolas Almagro was a hard-fought second-round winner Thursday at the clay-court Swedish Open.

The second-seeded Spaniard saved a match point in the second set before coming from behind to beat game Czech qualifier Ivo Minar 1-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 in 1 hour, 55 minutes at Bastad Tennis Stadium. Minar was playing in his first ATP- level event of the year this week.

Almagro titled here two years ago and was the 2007 runner-up to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, this week's top seed.

The 10th-ranked Almagro's quarterfinal opponent will be compatriot Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who handled Italian qualifier Alessandro Giannessi 6-4, 6-3 on Day 4.

Two other seeds reached the round of eight, as No. 3 Spaniard Albert Ramos took care of Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev 6-3, 6-3 and No. 6 Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov grounded Portuguese Frederico Gil 6-3, 6-4.

Friday's other quarters will pit the world No. 5 Ferrer against fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo, Ramos versus Dimitrov, and Estonian Jurgen Zopp against Czech Jan Hajek. Ferrer titled here in '07 and was last year's Bastad runner-up to Swede Robin Soderling, a two-time winner who was unable to play this week. The formertop-10 star Robredo, who just returned to action this week following a lengthy injury layoff, is a two-time Bastad champion.