HALLE WESTFALEN, Germany (AFP) - Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut promised to be aggressive in his potential quarter-final clash with Roger Federer after beating France's Richard Gasquet in straight sets at the ATP tournament in Halle.
Seventh seed Bautista Agut, who reached the semi-finals in Halle last year before pulling out with injury, sauntered to a 6-1, 6-4 second-round victory over Gasquet on Thursday (June 20).
The Spaniard joins Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals, both of whom also won their second round games.
He next faces the winner of the day's headline game later, which pits Swiss ace Federer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The 31-year-old Bautista Agut has never beaten Federer, and has taken just one set from their eight meetings.
"I feel I am a better player now than in the past. I will have to be aggressive with my return and push him as much as possible," he said.
"Hopefully I can finish the week better this year. It was bad luck last year because I felt really good on court in every match."
Home favourite Zverev also advanced to the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3, 7-5 win over American Steve Johnson.
The world number five faces Belgium's David Goffin in the last eight on Friday.
"It's always difficult against Steve. I am just happy to be on the court," said Zverev, who has been struggling with a knee injury this week.
Berrettini, who was crowned champion in Stuttgart last week, came from behind to beat compatriot Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and secure a quarter-final clash with third seeded Russian Karen Khachanov.