KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Top seed David Ferrer beat Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek in straight sets on Thursday to secure a quarter-final spot at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.
The world No. 8 took the lead with a dogged display in the first game and maintained his steady baseline play in the second to win 7-5, 6-3.
"It was not easy today," said the 33-year-old Spaniard.
"Radek did well but I managed a good second game to win. I was a little jet-lagged, but that is no excuse as it was the same for him as well. I will rest well and be ready for tomorrow."
Ferrer will battle Kazakh Mikhail in the quarter-finals on Friday after the he beat Radu Albot from Moldova 6-3, 6-2 in an earlier second round match on Thursday.
Second seed Feliciano Lopez also advanced to the next round with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) triumph over Germany’s Mischa Zverev.
"It is tough to return after a long break, but I managed to overcome the jet lag and put on a good show today," said the 34-year-old Lopez, ranked 17 in the world.
"I am especially pleased with my serves and look forward to playing well again tomorrow."
Lopez will next meet eighth seed Vasek Pospisil who advanced to the next stage after beating Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-3.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles saw South African Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram from the US beat Australian Rameez Junaid and Jonathan Marray from Briton 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 to clinch a semifinal berth.