Top seed David Ferrer and world No. 10 Richard Gasquet secured semifinal berths at the season-opening Qatar Open, a $1.05 million Australian Open tune-up.
The world No. 5 Spanish Ferrer, who led the ATP with seven titles and 76 match wins last year, flattened Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-0 in 62 minutes, while the second-seeded Frenchman Gasquet easily grounded Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-3 on the hardcourts at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex.
Meanwhile, German qualifier Daniel Brands knocked out two-time Doha runner-up Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-5. Monfils gave way to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last year's all-French Qatar Open finale.
Brands will be opposed by the surging Gasquet on Friday.