Tokyo, Japan (SportsNetwork.com) - Canadian Milos Raonic and defending champ Kei Nishikori were among Thursday's second-round winners at the Japan Open Tennis Championships.
The third-seeded Raonic, fresh off his title in Bangkok, fired 17 aces in advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over France's Jeremy Chardy. Raonic, who has won all four of his previous quarterfinal matches this year, will next face Slovak Lukas Lacko after the lucky loser beat French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 7-5, 6-4.
Meanwhile, the fourth-seeded Nishikori was tested in an opening-set tiebreak, but ultimately prevailed by a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 score against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
Next up for the Japanese crowd favorite will be another Spaniard in Nicolas Almagro. The sixth seed was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Argentine Horacio Zeballos.
Nishikori beat Raonic in three sets to capture the Tokyo title last year.
Friday's other quarterfinals will pit top-seeded and 2008 champion Juan Martin del Potro against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov and Finn Jarkko Nieminen versus Croat Ivan Dodig.