David Ferrer of Spain celebrates his victory over Fabio Fognini of Italy at the Sony Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Sunday.

Miami - Spain’s 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.

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. - Sapa-AFP