Former top-five star David Nalbandian upset three-time champion Nicolas Almagro at the Brasil Open, while top-seeded Rafael Nadal moved on in Friday's quarterfinal action.
Nadal, who captured this event as a teenager in Costa do Sauipe in 2005, needed three sets to move into the semifinals, but topped Argentinean Carlos Berlocq 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on the clay court nonetheless.
The 26-year-old overcame an opening set where he double-faulted twice, a second set where Berlocq recorded five aces, and a third in which he rallied from a 1-3 deficit to win in 2 hours, 24 minutes.
The former World No. 1 Spaniard will take on Argentine lucky-loser Martin Alund, who topped the 2012 Sao Paulo runner-up Filippo Volandri 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) earlier in the day.
The oft-injured former Wimbledon runner-up Nalbandian upended the second- seeded reigning Sao Paulo titlist Almagro in a tough three-setter, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), in 2 hours, 17 minutes. The world No. 11 Spanish Almagro lost despite uncorking 28 aces, as the Argentine Nalbandian prevailed with only one service break on Day 5.
Almagro beat the Italian Volandri in last year's finale here and also captured this event in 2008 and 2011.
The 31-year-old Nalbandian's next opponent will be Italian Simone Bolelli, who gained the semis by erasing Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-4.
The 2013 Brasil Open titlist will earn $82,300.