AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Top-seeded Emilio Sanchez of Spain struggled past qualifier Malivai Washington of Swartz Creek, Mich., today to advance to the quarterfinals of the Zealand Open tennis championships.
Sanchez beat Washington, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), to earn a meeting with Frenchman Jean-Philippe Fleurian, who beat German Eric Jelen, 6-3, 6-1.
In other second-round matches, fifth-seeded Luiz Mattar of Brazil defeated Jaime Ygaza of Peru, 6-2, 6-2, and Christian Bergstrom of Sweden beat Chuck Adams of Pacific Palisades, Calif., 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).
Sanchez's anticipation and reflexes gave him the edge over Washington.
"In the third set I just tried to keep my concentration the whole time," Sanchez said. "It was so close. I was lucky."
Sanchez, ranked eighth in the world, said playing a three-set match will help him later in the tournament.
"The more matches and more times I play, the better it is for me," Sanchez said.