SAO PAULO (AP) -Simone Bolelli of Italy reached his first ATP semifinals since 2008 when he defeated Albert Montanes of Spain 6-4, 6-4 in the Brazil Open on Friday.
The 80th-ranked Bolelli, who successfully played challengers last year to get back into the top 100, broke Montanes' service twice in the final set to secure the victory at the indoor clay-court tournament in Sao Paulo.
The Italian, who had five of his nine aces in the second set, will face either two-time defending champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain or David Nalbandian of Argentina, who meet later Friday at the Ibirapuera arena.
Bolelli upset third-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina in the second round on Thursday.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was to face Carlos Berlocq of Argentina in Friday's last match.