Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta began his quest for a second ATP Tour title of the season by moving past countryman Carlos Taberner 7-5, 6-3 at the Hamburg European Open on Thursday.

The Spaniard, who lifted the trophy at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open in Marbella (d. Munar) in April, broke Taberner’s serve five times to advance in one hour and 46 minutes.

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”I knew that it was very important at the beginning of the match because it was his fourth match here and it was my first one, so it can be difficult,” Carreno Busta said. “I was very focused on my game, I tried to be aggressive all the time.

”Carlos then started to play more aggressive from 1-4 and hit more winners, so I continued fighting and I am happy as it is important [to get through] the first match.”

Carreno Busta suffered a surprise first-round defeat at Wimbledon to Sam Querrey in June. However, he bounced back on his return and has now recorded 14 wins on clay this year.

The World No. 13 made a strong start as he raced 4-1 ahead against Taberner, playing consistent and composed tennis from the baseline to dictate. While the Spanish qualifier managed to break and then draw level at 4-4, Carreno Busta regained his focus and committed just five unforced errors in the set to move ahead.

Taberner began the second set well and broke as he fired an array of forehand winners past Carreno Busta. However, the second seed crucially saved a break point to stay in touch at 1-2 and then reeled off four straight games as he effectively stepped into the court to dominate. He closed out victory on serve when Taberner pushed a return wide.

Carreno Busta will next face fifth seed Dusan Lajovic after the Serbian booked his spot in a second quarter-final of the season by overcoming qualifier Alex Molcan 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-3. Lajovic, who also reached the last eight on home soil at the Belgrade Open (l. Martin) in May, won 66 per cent (54/82) of his first-service points to advance in two hours and 57 minutes.

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Third seed Nikoloz Basilashvili received a walkover against Argentine Sebastian Baez and will next play Laslo Djere.

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