Stan Wawrinka opened his 2020 season with a straight-sets win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP event in Doha.
The three-time Grand Slam champion, the top seed in Qatar, eased to a 6-3, 6-4 victory to set up a last-eight tie against Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene.
The 34-year-old battled back from a break down in the second set to win in under an hour and a half.
The Swiss star was 66th in the ATP rankings 12 months ago after struggling with knee injuries, but a solid 2019 campaign has seen him rise to world number 15.
“I’m happy to still be playing at a good level,” he told atptour.com after winning his first competitive match since a last-16 loss to Rafael Nadal at the Paris Masters last October.
“I’m happy to be here for another year and hopefully [it will be] a good one for me.”
Wawrinka is playing the tournament for only the second time since a 2008 final defeat by Andy Murray, having lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in last year’s quarter-finals.
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA x8) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Cem Ilkel (TUR) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Laslo Djere (SRB x5) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-3, 6-4
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-0, 6-3
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x1) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-3, 7-5