The British No 2, who beat the Mexican Alejandro Hernandez 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match, was even more impressive in disposing of his unseeded former compatriot 6-3, 6-1.
The seventh-seeded Rusedski, who changed nationalities from Canadian to British, climbed 17 places from 56 to 39 in the ATP world rankings earlier this week after his appearance in the final of the Croatian Indoor Championship.
He only lost narrowly then to the favourite, Goran Ivanisevic, in Zagreb and another extended run in California could see Rusedski eclipse his highest-ever world ranking of 33, achieved in January last year.
Rusedski was due to meet Michael Chang in the quarter-finals late yesterday. The No 2 seed won his second-round match against Sargis Sargsian in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Sargsian, an Armenian world-ranked No 99, was unable to break Chang's service, although he did reachdeuce six times in the second set.
Third seed Andre Agassi survived his second three-set test in as many days, beating Sweden's Magnus Norman 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 in the second round.
Agassi, ranked No 12 in the world and winner of the event three times, trailed 3-1 in the second-set tie-break before rallying to stay alive against his 20-year-old opponent, ranked 93rd in the world.
Boris Becker and Michael Stich have both promised to play for Germany in their Davis Cup relegation play-off in September, the German Tennis Federation said yesterday. Both were criticised in the German media for not playing in last weekend's first-round tie on clay against Spain, which Germany lost 4-1.Reuse content