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Fabio Fognini, the 2012 runner-up, saves four of five break points in beating local hope Mikhail Youzhny on Thursday in St. Petersburg.

Fognini, Bautista Agut Move Into St. Petersburg QFs

Tsonga makes his debut during the evening session

Third seed Fabio Fognini ended Russian involvement on Thursday at the St. Petersburg Open when the Italian knocked out 2004 champion Mikhail Youzhny, competing at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the 16th year (34-14 match record).

Fognini, the 2012 runner-up, came close to breaking at 4-4 in the second set, but Youzhny regrouped before falling 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in almost two hours. Fognini now faces Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who advanced to the quarter-finals for the second time (also 2012) when his German opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to illness before their match. Kohlschreiber must wait another week in his bid to win at least 30 matches (29-17 in 2017) for the 11th straight year.

Top seed Roberto Bautista Agut opened his campaign by beating Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in one hour and 40 minutes. The Spaniard, who lost just four points in the deciding set, also beat Dutra Silva at the Aircel Chennai Open in January. A semi-finalist at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the past two years, Bautista Agut now faces seventh-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki in Friday’s quarter-finals. Troicki edged Argentina’s Guido Pella 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 in two hours and 27 minutes.

Eighth-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff won seven of the first eight games in a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Brazil’s Thomas Fabbiano. He now plays second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who made his tournament debut by hitting 16 aces to beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 during the night session. Tsonga, 32, is playing in Russia for the first time since 2010, when he lost to Troicki in the VTB Kremlin Cup second round.

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