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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin, Kafelnikov Progress in Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Top two seeds and crowd favorites, Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, moved swiftly into the quarterfinals of the St. Petersburg Open tennis tournament Thursday with a pair of straight-set victories.

Safin, currently second in the ATP Champions’ Race and seeded No. 1, had little trouble dispatching American Chris Woodruff 6-3, 6-1. The Russian broke 67th-ranked Woodruff once in the first set and three more times in the second to clinch the match in 53 minutes.

Second seed Kafelnikov beat Christian Ruud of Norway 6-1, 7-6 to set up a duel with another unseeded player, Spaniard Alex Calatrava, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over German Markus Hantschk.

Another Russian hope, Andrei Stolyarov, was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

Fifth-seeded Dutchman Sjeng Schalken fell to American qualifier Jared Palmer 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

"I’ve played a lot of matches lately, and it’s taking a big toll on my body," said Schalken, who won the Japan Open and reached the final in Shanghai last month.

"I had trouble with my lower back in the last couple of weeks, and today I also twisted my foot late in the first set. I have not been able to rest properly, that’s why I’m going to skip the Paris Open next week and will only play one more tournament this year, in Stockholm."

Palmer, top seed in doubles with compatriot Alex O’Brien, made up for losing in the first round of doubles by reaching the last eight in singles — his first quarterfinal in five years.

"This is by far my best result all year," said Palmer, ranked 758th in singles but No. 7 in the world in doubles.

"I haven’t played a lot of singles this year, that’s why maybe some players don’t take me seriously enough. I’m also not used to do that much of running, but today I felt fine in the third set."

Seventh-seeded David Prinosil lost to fellow German Rainer Sch?ttler 6-2, 6-3 in 61 minutes.

"I knew it would be a tough match because he is my Davis Cup teammate, although I don’t recall ever playing him before," said 43rd-ranked Prinosil, who reached the Kremlin Cup final two weeks ago, knocking out top seed Safin in the process.

"I don’t really have an answer why I lost today. I guess it just wasn’t my day."

Fifty-sixth-ranked Sch?ttler, who now faces Safin on Friday, said he was looking forward to playing the big-serving Russian.

"I would rather play Safin than Woodruff because I want my revenge," said Sch?ttler, who lost to Safin in the first round in Moscow.