MARSEILLE, France (AP) -- Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8) on Wednesday to reach the Open 13 quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Tsonga, who had 19 aces, improved to 4-2 in career head-to-heads against the Russian who reached a career-high ranking of third.
Davydenko saved one match point with a forehand pass down the line, but Tsonga clinched victory with the next when Davydenko's forehand hit the net.
''It's never easy against him, he's a great player who's won a lot of titles,'' the 28-year-old Tsonga said. ''I'm trying to get my bearings again, which is why I was so happy to win.''
Tsonga next plays either sixth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin or France or Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
''I didn't play well last time [in Rotterdam]. But you shouldn't forget that, and use the experience,'' said Tsonga, referring to his straight-sets loss to Croat Marin Cilic in the second round of the ABN Amro tournament. ''I absolutely must raise my level.''
Also Wednesday, top-seeded Richard Gasquet of France defeated Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. Gasquet is also coming off a second-round loss at the ABN Amro.
In other matches, there were wins for eighth-seeded Nicolas Mahut of France, Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, Frenchman Michael Llodra and Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania.
Mahut beat countryman Kenny De Schepper 7-6 (2), 6-3; Struff beat David Guez 3-6, 6-1, 6-1; Bautista Agut won 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 against Dustin Brown; Llodra downed Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-6 (2), and Berankis led 6-5 when Jan Hajek retired.
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