Stuttgart, Germany - Top seeds Fabio Fognini and Mikhail Youzhny were a pair of second-round winners Thursday at the Mercedes Cup tennis event.
The top-seeded reigning champion Fognini got past Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6-4, 6-4, while the second-seeded 2002 Stuttgart titlist Youzhny, of Russia, whipped Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-1 at Tennis Club Weissenhof.
The Italian Fognini defeated German favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber in last year's finale at this clay court tournament.
A fifth-seeded Kohlschreiber finally played his first-round match on Thursday and defeated fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-4, 6-3. Rain prevented Kohlschreiber from playing here on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Unfortunately for Kohlschreiber, he had to play two matches on Thursday and lost the second one, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), to Czech slugger Lukas Rosol in the round of 16.
Third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut reached the quarterfinals by outlasting Irish lucky loser Louk Sorensen 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, while fourth-seeded Feliciano Lopez moved into the round of eight by overcoming fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3.
In some other second-round action on Day 4, sixth-seeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez held off Swiss qualifier Yann Marti 7-6 (15-13), 7-5, seventh- seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo edged out Russian qualifier Philip Davydenko 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, and eighth-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis overcame German Benjamin Becker 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4.
Friday's quarterfinals will pit Fognini against Giraldo; Youzhny versus Delbonis; Bautista Agut against his fellow Spaniard Garcia-Lopez; and Lopez versus Rosol.
The 2014 Stuttgart champion will earn $105,000.