GSTAAD, Switzerland (AP) — Top-seeded Mikhail Youzhny began his Swiss Open title defense by beating Kenny De Schepper of France 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match on Thursday.
The 19th-ranked Russian forced a single service break in each set and denied De Schepper any chances to break back. The French left-hander sent down seven aces but had six double faults.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, Youzhny faces the player he beat in the title match last year, Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
Seventh-seeded Haase had a tougher time in the Swiss mountains beating local wild card Henri Laaksonen 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Leading 5-3 in the decider, Haase had his serve broken then wasted three match points in Laaksonen's next service game. Haase finally clinched the match on an error by the 319th-ranked Swiss.
Another wild card, Viktor Troicki of Serbia, eased into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Troicki is playing his first event after serving a one-year suspension for a doping rules violation, which left him ranked No. 847.
Troicki next plays fourth-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain or 78th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany. Their match was tied at 3-6, 6-3, 1-1 when rain suspended play.