Denmark's Viktor Axelsen moved closer to the successful defence of his men's singles title at the BWF Barcelona Spain Masters ©Getty Images

Reigning champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat France's Brice Leverdez today to book his place in the men's singles quarter-finals at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Barcelona Spain Masters.

Axelsen, the 2017 world champion, registered a 21-11, 21-15 win on day three of the BWF World Tour Super 300 event at the Pavelló de la Vall d'Hebron.

Standing between the 26-year-old and a semi-final berth is fellow Dane Jan Ø. Jørgensen, the seventh seed who defeated Russia's Sergey Sirant 21-14, 21-9.

On the other side of the draw, third-seeded Indian Srikanth Kidambi lost 6-21, 17-21 to compatriot Ajay Jayaram.

The reward for Jayaram is a last-eight encounter with France's Thomas Rouxel, who came from behind to overcome fellow Frenchman Toma Junior Popov 20-22, 21-16, 21-13.

Also through to the quarter-finals is fifth seed Rasmus Gemke of Denmark after he claimed a 21-19, 16-21, 21-13 victory over Brazil's Ygor Coelho.

Spain's Carolina Marín remains on course to triumph at her home event ©Getty Images
Spain's Carolina Marín remains on course to triumph at her home event ©Getty Images

In the women's singles event, home favourite Carolina Marín secured her spot in the quarter-finals by beating The Netherlands' Soraya de Visch Eijbergen 21-8, 21-13.

Awaiting the top seed and Olympic champion in the last eight is Thailand's Phittayaporn Chaiwan, who defeated the United States' Iris Wang 21-18, 20-22, 21-17.

Also progressing to the quarter-finals were Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan and Pornpawee Chochuwong, the respective third and sixth seeds, and India's Saina Nehwal, the fifth seed.

Ongbamrungphan overcame Denmark's Julie Dawall Jakobsen 21-9, 21-11 and is set to go onto face Nehwal, a 21-10, 21-19 winner at the expense of Ukraine's Maria Ulitina.

Next up for Chochuwong, who beat Spain's Paula Molins 21-2, 21-8, is Turkey's Neslihan Yigit.

A 21-9, 21-16 win over Finland's Airi Mikkela saw Yigit through to the last eight.