The sixth-seeded Kuznetsova withstood comeback attempts by Kirsten Flipkens in each set, eventually winning eight of the last nine points from 5-5 in the second en route to a 6-4, 7-5 victory.
"I was up 4-1 in the first set and then it got complicated," Kuznetsova said. "I was up 5-2 in the second, and again it got complicated. I need to do a better job closing matches out, but I'm just looking forward to playing more matches in the US Open Series to get prepared for the US Open."
Next up for 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion Kuznetsova is Vania King, who converted on five of seven break points and saved five of six on her own serve in her 6-1, 6-3 defeat of fellow American Christina McHale. She also staged a mini comeback from 3-1 down in the second set, winning five straight games to close out the match.
Up a set but down a break at 4-3 in the second set against Lauren Davis, Makarova broke, held and broke again to seal a 6-2, 6-4 triumph that saw her win 25 of 32 first serve points.
Pavlyuchenkova broke serve in six of her nine return games and was a 6-3, 6-3 winner against Japanese qualifier Hiroko Kuwata, advancing to her first WTA quarterfinal since winning Paris [Indoors] in February.
Pavlyuchenkova is 4-2 in her head-to-head with Makarova.