World number one Juan Carlos Ferrero overcame a first set scare from French wildcard Nicolas Mahut to reach the third round at the Paris Masters.
The top-seeded Spaniard was broken in the fifth game and had to save a set point before eventually winning 7-6 6-4 on Tuesday.
Ferrero will next play Jiri Novak or Fabrice Santoro in the third round.
He is in a three-way battle with Andy Roddick and Roger Federer to finish number one in the Champions Race.
The Paris Masters is the final tournament of the regular season before the eight-man Masters Cup in Houston next month.
Earlier in the day, Paradorn Srichaphan made short work of qualifier Karol Beck, sweeping into round three in straight sets.
The Thai, seeded number eight, retains an outside chance of qualifying for the Masters Cup.
And he took the first step to doing so with a comfortable 7-6 6-3 victory over the Slovakian.
Srichaphan was never in trouble after coming through a tight first set on Centre Court.
He goes on to meet Hicham Arazi, who progressed when fellow Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui retired from their match with a heel injury when leading 6-4 3-6 2-1.
The battle for the eighth spot at the Masters Cup is now between David Nalbandian, Mark Philippoussis, Sebastien Grosjean and Srichaphan.
If Nalbandian wins one match here, Srichaphan can no longer qualify, while Philippoussis and Grosjean almost certainly have to win the title to have any chance.
After Beck's defeat there was better news for Slovakia on Court One where Dominik Hrbaty beat American Vincent Spadea 7-6 6-1.
Hrbaty will face French Open finalist Martin Verkerk in the last 32.
Mikhail Youzhny beat in-form Feliciano Lopez 7-6 6-3 as he made a successful return to the venue where he won the Davis Cup for Russia in dramatic circumstances last year.
And Tommy Robredo was in superb form as he swept past Argentina's Gaston Gaudio, the Spaniard coming through 7-5 6-3 to set up a possible clash with Andy Roddick.