Almagro advances to Buenos Aires final

Defending champion Nicolas Almagro will meet fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in Sunday’s final of the Copa Claro clay-court tournament.

No. 2 seed Almagro defeated Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, and No. 1 Ferrer had an easy time beating local favorite David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-1, 6-4.

Almagro won the Brazil Open last weekend – his 11th ATP title, all on clay – and will go for No. 12 on Sunday.

Almagro and Wawrinka remained on serve in the final set until Almagro broke in the last game to win the semifinal.

”I think both of us played at a high level,” Almagro said. ”I’m really happy because last year here I achieved something important in my career. I know it will be tough, but we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”

Almagro threatened to open up the semifinal in the last set with two break points in the eighth game, but failed to convert either. He fended off a break point of his own in the 11th game to keep the match on serve, then broke Wawrinka in the final game.

Ferrer’s victory was lopsided.

He won the first set in 20 minutes with Nalbandian unable to find his stroke in front of boisterous home fans.

The second set was stopped for 25 minutes during the fifth game with high winds and light rain sweeping across the outdoor venue in central Buenos Aires. At the time it was 2-2, and 30-30 with Nalbandian serving.

Nalbandian held serve but was broken in the seventh game, which put an end to his chances.

”It was a perfect day here and suddenly this little storm to cause the delay,” Ferrer said.