Nadal, Almagro advance in Brazil

Top seed Rafael Nadal and two-time defending champion Nicolas Almagro were among the second-round winners Thursday at the clay-court Brasil Open.

Nadal, the 2005 champion, made quick work of Joao Souza, posting a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Brazilian qualifier. The Spaniard was a shocking loser at the hands of Argentine Horacio Zeballos in last week's final in Vina Del Mar, Chile. It marked his first action in seven months after being sidelined with a knee injury.

The second-seeded world No. 11 Almagro fired 18 aces in holding off Chilean qualifier Paul Capdeville 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 on Day 4 in Sao Paulo.

The three-time Brasil Open champ Almagro beat Italian Filippo Volandri in last year's finale here and also captured this event in Costa do Sauipe in 2008 and 2011.

Almagro's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be oft-injured former top-five star and former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian, who cruised past fellow Argentine Guido Pella, 6-4, 6-2.

A series of upsets came when Italian Simone Bolelli took out third-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-2; Volandri upended fifth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-2; Albert Montanes erased seventh-seeded fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-5, 6-2; and Argentine Carlos Berlocq doused eighth- seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos 7-6 (9-7), 6-4. Bellucci was a Brasil Open runner-up in 2009.

Montanes will meet Bolelli in the round of eight.

The 2013 Brasil Open titlist will earn $82,300.