Top-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia beat Rajeev Ram of the US 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Open on Thursday.
Third-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia also reached the final eight by beating Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-3, 6-3. Klizan hit five aces and never faced a break point. He next faced Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, who advanced when eighth-seeded Jurgen Zopp of Estonia retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-3.
Earlier, fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini eliminated 2009 champion Serghiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, while fellow Italian Flavio Cipolla made the final eight with a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 victory over Grega Zemlja of Slovenia.
Youzhny served hard in the first set and allowed Ram to score only three points on receiving. Youzhny then made a break in the opening game of the second set and held his serve to close the match on his first match point.
Yesterday, in his eighth quarter-final appearance at the tournament since 2001, Youzhny was to face Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, who was leading 6-1 and 3-1 when Paolo Lorenzi of Italy retired with a left Achilles injury.
Fognini was leading 3-1 and 40-15 up in the first set when he made three double faults and Stakhovsky broke him and forced a tiebreaker.
He then accelerated to a 5-1 lead in the second set and though the Ukrainian broke for 5-4, Fognini served the match out to love.
Next up for him is Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain, who ousted Russia’s Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-4, while Cipolla was to play against Gimeno-Traver of Spain, who stopped Lukasz Kubot of Poland, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
AP, METZ, France
Seventh-seeded Gael Monfils of France continued his successful return after several months out with a knee injury on Thursday, reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open with a 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 victory over compatriot Nicolas Mahut.
It was Monfils’ second match since losing to Brian Baker of the US at the Open de Nice in May. The 2009 Metz champion hit 12 aces to secure a match against second-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber.
“The fatigue builds up, I have lots of little niggles,” Monfils said. “I still feel a bit heavy, so I push and grimace a bit. But day after day, I’m getting better.”
Kohlschreiber, a runner-up three years ago, defeated Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
Third-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain was forced to retire with an abdominal injury when trailing Ivo Karlovic 6-2, 2-2. The Croatian faces Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals after the eighth-seeded Russian defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 7-5, 6-4.
Fifth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy is also through after cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Frenchman Vincent Millot in just over an hour. American Jesse Levine faces a quarter-final against top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after beating Michael Berrer of Germany 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.