Third seed Milos Raonic continued his Asian hot streak with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jeremy Chardy on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Japan Open.
The Canadian who won the Bangkok title at the weekend fired 17 aces and ended the match with back-to-back untouchable serves.
Raonic advanced in an hour and a quarter, never facing a break point.
“I played well on return but I’m particularly happy with the serving,” said the winner. “I had a good percentage of first serves and I was able to good things with the returns.
“My numbers were great today and I’m very happy with how I’m taking care of serve out there.” Raonic is moving closer to a possible re-match of his 2012 final against defending champion Kei Nishikori after the Japanese fourth seed crushed Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4), 6-0.
Nishikori broke five times in a rout lasting just 69 minutes in front of a passionate home crowd at the Ariake colosseum, winning his 31st match of the season and moving into his fourth quarterfinal of 2013.
Raonic has now won six matches in Asia since the start of last week and will next play Slovak Lukas Lacko, who beat Frenchman Eduardo Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-4.
The 22-year-old now stands 39-17 on the season and is thick in the chase for a possible spot in the November year-end event in London.
He currently stands provisional 11th behind the French pair of Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2009 Tokyo champion eliminated in the second round as he recovers from a knee injury.
Spanish sixth seed Nicolas Almagro reached the last eight as he out Argentine Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-2.
and next takes on Nishikori.