- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP) - Top-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy defeated fifth-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Royal Guard Open clay-court tournament in Chile.

Fognini will face No. 3 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, who defeated Taro Daniel of Japan 6-2, 7-5. It was Daniel’s first ATP quarterfinal match. Daniel lives in Spain, where he learned the clay-court game.

Almagro has won 12 ATP events - all on clay - and six in Latin America. He is looking for his first title in Chile.

In two other quarterfinals, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia won over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal skipped this event and pulled out of next week’s tournament in Buenos Aires nursing a back injury and a stomach virus. He is expected to play the following week in Rio de Janeiro.

A spokesman said Nadal planned to arrive in Brazil next week.