World No. 5 David Ferrer beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday to book a fourth-round clash with Japan's Kei Nishikori at the ATP Miami Masters.
Ferrer, seeded third, was playing his first match of the tournament after advancing to the third round on a walkover when his scheduled opponent Dmitry Tursunov of Russia withdrew.
The 30-year-old Spaniard will battle for a quarter-final berth against 13th-seeded Nishikori, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Belgian Xavier Malisse.
The two have split their four prior encounters 2-2. Ferrer triumphed in their last meeting, notching a straight-sets victory over the Japanese in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
"It's going to be a very difficult match," Ferrer said. "The last time I played him at the Australian Open I beat him in three sets, but I will have to run a lot. We will play a lot of rallies on the baseline. Nishikori, he has unbelievable shots. He plays with a lot of power."
Ferrer broke Fognini four times en route to the victory in 79 minutes. It was his third win over the Italian this season and his sixth in six career meetings.
Ferrer is vying for his third title of the season, after successfully defending titles in Auckland and Buenos Aires.
But he had a disappointing outing at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this month, falling in his second-round opener.