Isner struggles past Malisse at Open de Nice

Top-seeded John Isner had 13 aces on his way to a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) win against Belgium's Xavier Malisse at the Open de Nice on Wednesday.

The hard-serving American will play Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinals after the Russian topped seventh-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

No. 2 Gilles Simon of France and No. 3 Nicolas Almagro of Spain also advanced to the last eight.

Simon downed Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-3 and will play Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-3.

Almagro overcame Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (5), 6-4 and will face Steve Darcis of Belgium, who rallied past Italian Filippo Volandri 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.