Top seed and two-time defending champion Nikolay Davydenko wasted no time in booking his quarterfinal spot at the ATP Kremlin Cup on Thursday, knocking out Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-1, 6-1 in just 55 minutes.
The Russian, who converted five of 10 break points and only dropped three points behind his first serve, is bidding for his fourth title in Moscow.
The only player to have won three or more consecutive titles in the Russian capital is Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who reigned from 1997- 2001.
The 27-year-old Davydenko is closing in on one of the four remaining berths at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai.
In the quarterfinals, Davydenko will face seventh-seeded compatriot Marat Safin, who recovered from dropping the second set6-0 to prevail 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 against Frenchman Julian Benneteau.
Davydenko and Safin have met six times previously at ATP level, with Davydenko winning their past four encounters to lead the head- to-head 4-2.
The 28-year-old Safin is making his 11th appearance in his home- town tournament and reached the final in 2006 when he lost to Davydenko -- it was his last appearance in an ATP final.
Viktor Troicki prevailed in an all-Serbian clash against Janko Tipsarevic, defeating the No. 8 seed 6-3, 6-4 to reach his fourth ATP quarterfinal of the season.
Troicki now will face German Mischa Zverev, who edged out Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
Igor Kunitsyn is the third Russian to reach the quarterfinals after breaking serve four times in dismissing American Robby Ginepri 6-4, 6-3.
French fourth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu completed the quarterfinal line-up with a hard-fought 6-7 , 7-5, 7-6 victory over Beijing finalist Dudi Sela.