Top-seeded Richard Gasquet of France advanced to the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Open on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-3 win over countryman Stephane Robert.
"I've known Stephane for a long time now, so I know how dangerous he can be," Gasquet said. "He likes to play close to the baseline. We've practiced together often, so I know his game and he knows mine. I didn't make many mistakes today, and that was the difference."
Gasquet saved seven of eight break points and broke the unseeded Robert's serve five times.
"I started the match nervously, but I was playing better in the second set. Then I made some mistakes and got negative," Robert said. "At this level, you have to be focused all the time and not fight against yourself."
Gasquet will next face Australia's John Millman, who rallied to win 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 against U.S. wild card Bjorn Fratangelo.
Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu advanced to his fourth straight Winston-Salem quarterfinal with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Argentina's Diego Schwartzman.
"Fortunately I played really well on game points and on break points," Lu said. "My serve was there when I needed it, and that helped me a lot today."
"I did a great job," Verdasco told the Winston-Salem Journal. "I was lucky in the important points. First set, I didn't have many chances with his serve. ...
"I was very positive the whole match, feeling good, moving well with the ball, moving myself, the legs and everything."
Johnson, who also fell to Verdasco at the French Open this summer, told the Journal, "At the end of the day, I just haven't quite figured out Nando's serve. He's one guy, I don't know why, it's just one of those things where it just doesn't match up well for me. I'm right there and I had my chances. I just haven't taken them yet against him."
In the quarterfinals, Verdasco will face Serbia's Viktor Troicki, who edged American Sam Querrey 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, the No. 16 seed, advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 upset of the No. 3 seed, Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
Andre Kuznetsov of Russia advanced when Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic retired at 5-5 in the first set.