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Nalbandian marches on in Stockholm

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:05

The top-seeded Argentinian needed just 63 minutes to get past Spanish seventh seed Alberto Montanes 6-4 6-1 at the hardcourt event.

Nalbandian, who crushed Swedish qualifier Joachim Johansson 6-3 6-2 in the second round, remains a strong favourite in Stockholm as the only top-30 player in the field.

The world number seven will be hoping to stay on course for the ninth title of his career when he faces third seed Jarko Nieminen in the last four.

A two-time finalist, Nieminen of Finland progressed with a 6-1 6-4 win over Spaniard Oscar Hernandez.

The 2001 and 2006 runner-up will meet unseeded Spaniard Oscar Hernandez next, with the winner facing a potential showdown with Nalbandian in the semis.

Japanese wild card Kei Nishikori is a surprise name in the last four after he was awarded a walkover in his quarter-final against second seed Mario Ancic, who pulled out of the match through illness.

Nishikori, the world number 77, will face local favourite Robin Soderling in the next round.

The fourth seed was a 6-2 7-5 victor over German fifth seed Rainer Schuettler.

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