Action continued at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell with third round matches in singles and quarterfinal contests in doubles.
Top seed Rafael Nadal, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and third seed Andrey Rublev were among the winners while fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut and seventh seed Denis Shapovalov were upset. Eighth seed David Goffin was forced to retire.
Nadal outlasts Nishikori, Norrie advances after Goffin retirement
Nadal needed two hours, 19 minutes to oust Kei Nishikori 6-0, 2-6, 6-2. The 11-time champion needed just 30 minutes to seal a dominant opening set, where the Japanese hit just three winners.
Using his forehand to dictate, Nishikori, a two-time champion in Barcelona, reeled off three games in a row in the second set to claim a 3-1 lead and a second break sealed the set and forced a decider.
Playing back-to-back three-set matches for the first time ever at the tournament, Nadal saved five break points in the third set and broke in the fourth and eighth games to advance to the quarterfinals.
"I think I played much better than yesterday; that's a very important thing for me", he said on-court. "The level of positive energy [was] higher, so [I'm] very satisfied."
Nadal will face Cameron Norrie in the last eight after the Brit advanced over Goffin leading 6-0, 5-3 when the Belgian was forced to retire with a leg injury.
Rublev, Sinner set up quarterfinal showdown
Rublev survived against Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in two hours, 29 minutes. The Russian hit 35 winners and won 12 of 14 points at net in clinching his tour-leading 26th match win of the season.
After taking an early 4-1 lead, Rublev watched Ramos-Vinolas storm back, but he took the last two games of the set. The Spaniard took the tiebreaker thanks to errors off of the third seed's racket.
Rublev jumped out again, this time holding a 4-2 advantage before Ramos-Vinolas again recovered, but he couldn't convert on four break points and the Russian finished off the contest with a forehand winner.
Jannik Sinner will be his next opponent after the Italian recorded his third win of the season against Bautista Agut 7-6 (9), 6-2, following victories in Miami and Dubai over the Spaniard.
The 11th-seeded Italian saved three set points in the one-hour, 56 minute match.
Elsewhere, second seed Tsitsipas won his seventh match in a row after a 7-5, 6-3 victory over 14th seed Alex de Minaur. Next up for the Greek is 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat countryman Shapovalov 6-2, 6-3.
Fourth seed Diego Schwartzman had little trouble with Corentin Moutet, defeating the Frenchman 6-4, 6-2 and he will next face sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, a 6-3, 6-4 victor over qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
In quarterfinal action, top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah led the doubles winners as the Colombian duo eased past Dan Evans and Neal Skupski 6-3, 6-4 while third seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won by the identical 6-3, 6-4 scoreline over Ivan Dodig and Jamie Murray.
Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau continued their strong play as they took out the Australian duo of John Peers and Luke Saville 6-4, 6-3. Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin advanced after receiving a walkover from Carlos Alcaraz and Pablo Carreno Busta.
The semifinals are set with Cabal and Farah facing Chardy and Martin in the first semifinal while Krawietz and Tecau will square off with Ram and Salisbury in the second semifinal.