Hometown hero Roger Federer and newly returned American Andy Roddick both registered efficient straight-set victories to advance at the Swiss Indoors tennis.
Federer, perhaps rushing slightly to get over the road and into his seat at the Champions League match between his club Basel and AS Roma, took just an hour to dispatch Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-4 in a near-flawless performance in Basel on Wednesday.
Roddick, who last played Basel in 2003, proved a point to himself as he pulled up a winner a fortnight after quitting in the Shanghai second round with a knee injury. He showed no ill effects in a 16-ace performance over compatriot Sam Querrey 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).
Federer could not have been more pleased with his effort after rolling into the last eight. The Swiss had a run of three straight Basel titles interrupted a year ago by Novak Djokovic and is showing a desire to return to the top at home.
"I played well, served well and had hardly any errors. This is about as good as it gets. If I can keep it like this for the whole event, that would be amazing.
"That's two perfect matches in a row. In the first set I was aggressive right away, I didn't give him any chances. In the second I gave him no chances on my serve. It was a good match for me, I had hardly any mistakes."
Roddick stands provisional eighth in the race for the three remaining spots in the field for the year-ender starting Nov 21.
Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling have all booked their places in the event based upon computer ranking points earned this season.
Roddick trails Czech Tomas Berdych and Spain's David Ferrer in the fluctuating table with this week and next in Paris remaining in the ATP regular season.
Roddick improved his record against Basel first-timer Querrey to 5-2 after losing two of the last three matches in their series.
The fourth seed completed the victory after saving a Querrey set point in the second set and coming through to end it on a first match point.
Roddick said he is not doing the calculations on his chances of making the London field, preferring to just concentrate on winning his matches.
"It important for me to get to London," said a player who missed the event in 2009 after qualifying but suffering late-season injury which reduced him to a spectator on a flying visit for a sponsor.
"I've qualified every year for a long time, that's something I want to continue. That's my goal at the start of every year. And I have the chance to accomplish it even with the injury.
"It would be nice to do after all of this."
Elsewhere in the first round, the year-end hopes of Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych took a major hit as German qualifier inflicted a 6-4, 6-1 defeat on the Czech.
Berdych is next in the queue to take the sixth spotin the field, but his hopes are on hold now.
Czech Radek Stepanek advanced over Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). Jarkko Nieminen,2007 losing finalist to Federer continued a recent run of form which took him to a Bangkok final and semi-final in Stockholm, earning a defeat of German Daniel Brands 6-3, 6-2.
Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu beat German Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3 while Dutchman Robin Haase defeated American eighth seed John Isner 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals.