| NICOLÁS Almagro is the first Spanish tennis player to get through to the quarter finals at the London Olympics after beating Belgium's Steve Darcis in two sets - but David Ferrer fell to Japan's Kei Nishikori this evening.
Murcia-born Almagro (pictured) managed to push his recent shoulder injury to one side to win the 81-minute match by 7-5 and 6-3, setting up a third-round match against the winner of the forthcoming duel between Scotland's Andy Murray and Cyprus' Marcos Baghdatis.
The Spaniard, who is number 12 in the world according to the ATP rankings, had already beaten Darcis on the three previous occasions he had played him.
In the last round, the current reigning champion in Nice and São Paulo and finalist in Bastad and Buenos Aires managed to wipe out sixth seed Tomas Berdych, from the Czech Republic, in the first round of the Olympic tournament.
Most of Spain's medal hopes are pinned on Almagro, who is playing in his second Olympic games after being knocked out of the first round in Peking in 2008.
In the meantime, Jávea hero David Ferrer is out of the running after a second-round defeat at the hands of Japan's Kei Nishikori by 6-0, 3-6 and 6-4 in a match that involved two court changes due to the rain.
Fans of Ferrer, fourth seed and world number five in the ATP rankings, had been confident he would be Spain's secret weapon and a dead cert for a medal.