COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil -- Defending champion Nicolas Almagro reached the Brazil Open quarterfinals for a fourth straight year by beating Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.
Almagro led four Spaniards into the last eight, including second-seeded Tommy Robredo.
Top-seeded Almagro lost his serve twice but improved to 4-0 against Vassallo Arguello.
"I played better [than in the first round], but I still have to improve a lot," Almagro said. "I'm not at the level I was in 2008."
Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero -- the world's top-ranked player in 2003 but now 101st -- continued his nice run by breezing past Brian Dabul of Argentina 6-1, 6-2. Ferrero's 11th and last title was in 2003.
Fourth-seeded Jose Acasuso of Argentina, runner-up in Chile last week, defeated Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-3, 6-2 and will meet compatriot and sixth seed Eduardo Schwank, who earned a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) win over Portuguese qualifier Rui Machado.