Grigor Dimitrov has continued his fine 2016 form, securing a Sydney International quarter-final place with a second-round victory over Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.
The fourth-seeded Bulgarian, who put up a strong challenge against Roger Federer during his Brisbane International quarter-final last week, prevailed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 at Olympic Park on Wednesday.
Dimitrov’s win on Ken Rosewall Arena is his first at the tournament, having been bundled out in the first round of his only other main-draw appearance in 2013, in a promising sign for the 24-year-old world No.28 ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
He will next face either Ukrainian eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov or America’s Alexander Sarkissian, who also play on Wednesday.
Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut are also safely through.
Muller progressed courtesy of Dominic Thiem’s retirement, the second-seeded Austrian pulling out seemingly injured while trailing 7-6 (7-2) 2-2.
It sets Muller up to face the victor of Wednesday afternoon’s match-up between Australia’s James Duckworth or French sixth seed Jeremy Chardy.
It took Mahut a little longer to see off Italy’s fifth seed Andreas Seppi, who fought back from one set down to take the second before eventually capitulating 6-3 1-6 6-3.