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Ferrer, Monaco advance at Malaysian Open

KUALA LUMPUR -- Top seed David Ferrer cruised through his opening match at the Malaysian Open on Thursday with a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win against Russia's Alex Bogomolov Jr.

The Spaniard, ranked fifth in the world, and looking to secure a berth at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, was joined in the quarterfinals by Argentina's Juan Monaco and Kei Nishikori of Japan.

Ferrer, who had a first round bye in Kuala Lumpur, took time to find his form early in the match but had few problems in the second set against the 90th-ranked Russian.

His win was a record-equaling 61st of the season, meaning he joins Roger Federer at the head of the 2012 match wins leaderboard.

“It was a difficult match. The first set was close but after winning it, I felt better,” said Ferrer, who broke four times in total. “I was more consistent in the second and also a bit more relaxed.”

The 30-year-old, who has won five titles in 2012, will play Dutchman Igor Sijsling in Friday's quarterfinals. Sijsling upset fifth seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (7/2).

“He served well and I have to be at my best to beat him,” Ferrer said of his next opponent, ranked a lowly 97th in the world.

Second seed Monaco, 28, chasing his fourth title of the season, opened his campaign with a 6-4, 7-5 second round win over Taiwan wildcard Jimmy Wang.

The world number 11 was broken three times but responded with five breaks of his own, admitting he was surprised to be pushed so hard by his unfancied opponent.

The Argentine said he expected a “difficult” last eight tie against Canada's Vasek Pospisil, ranked 122 in the world, adding: “He's a younger player with nothing to lose.”

Third-seeded Nishikori of Japan was given a fright by Spain's Albert Ramos, losing the first set on a tie-break before coming back strongly to win 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1.

In the quarterfinals, Nishikori will play Russia's former world number three Nikolay Davydenko, who won the inaugural Malaysian Open in 2009 and defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday.

Colombia's Alejandro Falla battled past fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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David Ferrer, from Spain, returns a shot from Alex Bogomolov, from Russia, during their Malaysian Open quarterfinal in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday, Sept. 27. (AP)

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