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Nishikori advances to quarterfinals

Kyodo

Kei Nishikori stayed in the hunt for his first clay-court title after advancing to the last eight of the Copa Claro on Wednesday.

Buoyed by a three-set victory over former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero on Monday, Nishikori rallied to defeat Romanian Victor Hanescu 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in 2 hours, 13 minutes.

The No. 4 seed, who entered the week at a Japanese record 17th in the ATP rankings, will face sixth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

Wawrinka advanced to his second quarterfinal of 2012 with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Nishikori is making his first main draw appearance since reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.