World number one Novak Djokovic moved into the Madrid Open quarter-finals by continuing his domination over France’s Jeremy Chardy.
The 31-year-old Serb was eventually pushed by Chardy in the second set before earning a 6-1 7-6 (7-2) win.
Djokovic still has not dropped a set against the world number 47, having won all 13 of their meetings.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will look to join Djokovic in the last eight later on Thursday.
Switzerland’s Federer, making his clay-court return after a three-year absence, will play France’s Gael Monfils, while Spain’s Nadal continues his pursuit of a sixth title against American Frances Tiafoe.
Top seed Djokovic will next face Marin Cilic after the Croat reached his first quarter-final of the season.
Former US Open champion Cilic recovered to win 11 of the final 13 games to beat Serb Laslo Djere 4-6 6-3 6-2.
For Djokovic, it was easier work.
The 15-time Grand Slam champion moved a double break up in the first set when Chardy double-faulted for 4-0, then fought off a triple break point in the next game before going on to seal the opener in 31 minutes.
Chardy stretched Djokovic more in the second set, as neither player managed to muster a break point until the Frenchman – who had lost their previous 29 successive sets – claimed a set point at 5-4.
But he batted a backhand long as Djokovic, who shook his head after receiving whistles from the Caja Magica crowd as he prepared to serve, thumped down an ace to seal the hold.
That enabled Djokovic to take early control of the tie-break, clinching victory with a forehand winner on his first match point.