Defending champ Gonzalez advances

Updated: February 3, 2010, 10:26 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Top-seeded Fernando Gonzalez reached the quarterfinals of his hometown Movistar Open for the eighth consecutive year when he beat Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday.

Gonzalez has gone on to win the title four times in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009.

The Chilean star lost his serve only once, blowing a 3-1 lead, and then broke Hidalgo three times in wrapping up his 30th win in the tournament's history, against five defeats.

Next up for Gonzalez will be another Spaniard, Marcel Granollers, who won 6-4, 6-2 against Lukasz Kubot of Poland, coming off a fourth-round effort at the Australian Open.

Alberto Martin of Spain, making his season debut in Santiago, reached the Movistar last eight for the first time since 2001 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ricardo Mello of Brazil.

Martin, who won the last of his three clay titles in 2001, will face another Brazilian next, qualifier Joao Souza.

Having qualified for his first ATP Tour event, Souza made the quarterfinals by defeating Pere Riba of Spain 6-4, 6-4.

Souza, who turned pro at 17 in 2006 but had never played on the main tour until this week, won three matches in qualifying, upset seventh-seeded Simon Greul in the first round and then outlasted Riba in the first set and earned the only break in the second.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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