Spain's David Ferrer advanced to the quarterfinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in this Pacific resort city with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 victory over countryman Feliciano Lopez, while second-seeded Scotsman Andy Murray also booked a spot in the tournament's final eight.
Lopez did not face a single break point in the first set of Wednesday's match against one of tennis' elite returners, but the wheels came off suddenly in the tiebreaker and he was unable to recover.
The world No. 4, meanwhile, was able to fight off the two break points he faced in the early going and cruised to victory in the second set as Lopez hurt his cause with unforced errors.
Ferrer, who won this event three times (2010, 2011 and 2012) when it was played on clay, dominated the baseline rallies against Lopez on the tournament's new hard-court surface, evidenced by his 70 percent success rate on his second-serve points.
"The key to the match was the first set. Feli had chances. He didn't capitalize on them and I think he lost his concentration a bit ... I settled down more in the tiebreaker," Ferrer said.
Next up for the top seed in Thursday's quarterfinals will be South Africa's Kevin Anderson, who defeated American Sam Querrey 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
"It'll be a tough match against Anderson. I lost to him a year ago (at the 2013 Indian Wells tournament). I'll have to be on my toes. I'll have to return well ... and move my forehand around more to hurt him," the Spaniard said.
In other results Wednesday, Murray defeated Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4, and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 4 seed, cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. EFE