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Nalbandian Reaches Rome Semifinals

May 12, 2006

ROME (AP) _ David Nalbandian, looking to win his second straight title, beat 6-foot-5 Mario Ancic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3 Friday to advance to the Rome Masters semifinals.

Nalbandian won his first title of the year last week at the Estoril Open. The third-ranked Argentine struggled to a three-set win over Spanish qualifier Fernando Vicente in the first round in Rome, but has had little trouble since.

``When I arrived from my win in Estoril, I was a little tired,″ Nalbandian said. ``But I’ve gotten better and I’m in top form now.″

Ancic played more aggressively but committed twice as many unforced errors as Nalbandian _ 32 to 16. Nalbandian improved to 4-0 against Ancic.

In the semifinals, Nalbandian will face the winner of Friday’s match between top-ranked Roger Federer and Spanish qualifier Nicolas Almagro. In 2004, Nalbandian lost to Carlos Moya in the final of this event.

In the other half of the draw, Rafael Nadal was to play Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and Andy Roddick faced French teenager Gael Monfils. Nadal was aiming for his 51st straight win on clay. He can match Guillermo Vilas’ Open-era record 53-match winning streak on the surface if he successfully defends his title.

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