Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion and three-time overall titlist Novak Djokovic and Spanish star David Ferrer were among Thursday's second-round winners at the $2.315 million China Open.
The top-seeded world No. 1 Djokovic held off hard-hitting Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, while the third-seeded French Open runner-up Ferrer overcame Aussie Marinko Matosevic 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center. Djokovic beat Ferrer in the final here in 2010.
Up next for Djokovic will be American Sam Querrey, while Ferrer's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be fifth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
The U.S. Open semifinalist Gasquet grounded Aussie Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, while Querrey ousted sixth-seeded U.S. Open semifinalist Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) on Day 4 in Beijing.
Friday's other quarters will pit second-seeded and 2005 Beijing titlist Rafael Nadal against Italian Fabio Fognini and fourth-seeded and 2011 China Open champ Tomas Berdych versus eighth-seeded American John Isner. Berdych was a runner-up in Bangkok last week.
The U.S. and French Open champion Nadal would supplant Djokovic atop the men's rankings should he reach the final this weekend. The super Spaniard already owns a whopping 11 titles on tour this year and is currently riding a 19-match winning streak.
The 2013 Beijing titlist will earn $557,100.