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Youzhny eases into St. Petersburg QFs

Top seed and former champion Mikhail Youzhny led the parade into the quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Open.

The long-time Russian favorite Youzhny handled American Rajeev Ram in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, in Thursday's second-round action on the indoor hardcourts at SCC Peterburgsky.

The former top-10 star Youzhny titled in St. Petersburg in 2004 and was the runner-up in 2002 and 2010.

His quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be seventh-seeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who was pasting Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 3-1 when the Italian retired due to a left Achilles injury on Day 4.

Two other seeds joined the former world No. 8 Youzhny in the quarters, as No. 3 Martin Klizan of the Slovak Republic whipped Italian Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-3 and No. 4 Fabio Fognini of Italy dismissed Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Stakhovsky was the St. Petersburg champion three years ago.

A mild upset came when Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis doused eighth-seeded Jurgen Zopp 6-3, retired, as the Estonian gave way to a back injury.

In other second-round action, Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut topped Russian wild card Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-4, Italian Flavio Cipolla outlasted Slovenian Grega Zemlja 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, and Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver took care of Poland's Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

Friday's other quarterfinals will pit Klizan against Berankis, Fognini versus Bautista-Agut and Cipolla against Gimeno-Traver.