Oft-injured French favorite Gael Monfils and his fellow former top-10 star Nikolay Davydenko were among Thursday's second- round winners at the Moselle Open.
The seventh-seeded Monfils, playing his first tennis since May this week, snuck past fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 on the indoor hardcourts at Metz Expo Parc. Monfils smacked 12 aces and was broken only once by Mahut.
Monfils captured this event in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2004.
The acrobatic Monfils, who had been sidelined with a knee injury, will face German Philipp Kohlschreiber or fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire in the quarterfinals.
The eighth-seeded Davydenko, meanwhile, handled Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 7-5, 6-4 on Day 4 and will meet 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic on Friday. Karlovic was leading third-seeded Marcel Granollers 7-6 (7-3), 2-2 when the Spaniard retired from their bout due to an abdominal injury.
In other second-round play, fifth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi defeated French qualifier Vincent Millot 6-2, 6-1 in a brisk 63 minutes and Canadian-born American Jesse Levine outlasted left-handed German lucky-loser Michael Berrer 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.
Levine's quarterfinal opponent will be top-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated former titlist Ivan Ljubicic in last year's Metz finale.