Sydney - Grigor Dimitrov reached his second consecutive quarter-final of the new season with a straight-sets win over Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas at the Sydney International on Wednesday.
The Bulgarian world number 28, looking for more matches under new coach Franco Davin, ousted Cuevas 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 and will next play Ukraine's Aleksandr Dolgopolov in the quarters.
Dimitrov, who reached a career-high ranking of eight in 2014, lost in three sets to Roger Federer in the quarters of last week's Brisbane International.
"I think right now I need to play more matches, as many matches as I can get early on in the year," Dimitrov said.
"It's going to help me with my ranking, but also with the level that I'm trying to achieve.
"I've worked a lot on a lot of things this off-season, so I just want to make sure I put them into play and just make them as a habit. That's the thing that is very important to me."
Dimitrov took the opening set in 51 minutes after a one-sided tie-break, and then opened the second set with his only break of the match.
That was all he needed as he worked his way to victory in one hour 37 minutes.
The Bulgarian will face Dolgopolov in the quarters after the Ukrainian knocked out American qualifier Alexander Sarkissian 7-6 (8/6), 6-2).
"Dangerous player. Never know what to expect. Especially here. The conditions are pretty suitable for him," Dimitrov said of Dolgopolov.
"It's a faster court and a little bit windy. So it's going to be definitely a tricky match for me."
In other matches Wednesday, Luxembourg's Gilles Muller was leading second seed Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/2), 2-2 when the young Austrian retired with blisters on his right foot.
Thiem was coming off a semi-final loss to Federer in Brisbane.
Muller, a Sydney semi-finalist last year, has now dropped just seven points on his first serve over two matches, in defeating young guns Thiem and Croatia's Borna Coric.
Muller, who also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open last year, will face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the quarters.
Sixth seed Chardy ousted Australian James Duckworth 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, while French qualifier Nicolas Mahut downed fifth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Other Wednesday winners were Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6-3, 6-3 over Argentina's Federico Delbonis, and Serbian third seed Viktor Troicki, 6-1, 6-4 over Spaniard Tommy Robredo.