Almagro reaches Brasil Open semis

Top seed and defending champion Nicolas Almagro was an easy quarterfinal winner Friday at the $475,300 Brasil Open.

The Spanish Almagro cruised past fifth-seeded Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2 in an hour-and-a-half at this clay-court event.

Almagro will face a fellow Spaniard, either third-seeded Fernando Verdasco or eighth seed Albert Ramos, in Saturday's semifinals.

The world No. 11 Almagro, who also won this event in 2008, captured his second Brasil Open title last year by besting Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the finale in Costa do Sauipe.

The 2012 Brasil Open champion will collect $85,800.