Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts after wining his match against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, during the Barcelona open tennis tournament in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, April 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez
April 23, 2015

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Defending champion Kei Nishikori eased past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-2, 6-1 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

Nishikori beat Giraldo last year in straight sets at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona to win his first clay-court title, and the top-seeded Japanese had little trouble repeating his victory after converting five of nine break points.

Nishikori will play either Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut next.

Later, second-seeded Rafael Nadal plays Fabio Fognini.

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