Top seed will play Acasuso in quarterfinals

Originally Published: February 3, 2005

VINA DEL MAR, Chile -- Top seed Gaston Gaudio of Argentina had a much easier time in his second-round match Thursday at the $380,000 BellSouth Open.

Gaudio coasted into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Spain's David Sanchez.

"David Sanchez is a difficult player that always gives me some trouble when I play against him," Gaudio said. "I think today, I played better than yesterday and the conditions helped me a lot. The court was faster and drier, the ball smaller, which is what I like."

Coming off a third-round showing at the Australian Open, Gaudio was forced to an opening-set tiebreaker in the first round before dispatching Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, on Wednesday.

The reigning French Open champion, Gaudio won the title here in 2001 but lost in the final last year to Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, who also reached the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (4), 7-5 triumph over Spain's Nicolas Almagro.

Gonzalez won a gold medal in doubles with Nicolas Massu at the 2004 Olympics. He also won here in 2002 and is the only player to win the tournament twice.

Gaudio will face sixth seed Jose Acasuso of Argentina, who reached the round of eight with a 6-2, 7-6 (2) win over Brazil's Flavio Saretta.

"Today, it was tough," Acasuso said. "Luckily, I was able to start really well. I broke twice right away, which gave me a comfortable lead to win the fist set. The second set was more difficult, I didn't have many opportunities to break him."

Gonzalez will take on fifth seed Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina, who defeated Spain's Santiago Ventura 6-4, 6-3.

First prize in the 32-player field is $45,000.