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Gonzalez, Costa, Nadal Advance at Valencia

April 6, 2005

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) _ Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and of Albert Costa Spain advanced to the quarterfinals of the Valencia Open on Wednesday while Rafael Nadal eliminated fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the first round.

Gonzalez, seeded second, defeated Spain’s Felix Mantilla 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

``I came to Valencia to win,″ Gonzalez said. ``In these first two matches, I have been feeling really at home on clay.″

In the final first-round match, third-seeded Nadal defeated Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, 6-2, 6-1.

Costa defeated Stefan Koubek of Austria 6-4, 6-2 in the second round. Costa, the 2002 French Open champion, had ousted top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the first round.

In other second-round matches, No. 6 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain kept his title defense on track with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Italian qualifier Federico Luzzi, while Spain’s Ivan Navarro Pastor beat Antony Dupuis of France 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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