Roger Federer coasted into the last eight of the Swiss Indoors with a 6-1 6-4 win over Juan Martin del Potro.
Federe won the Basle title for the first time last year
The world number one took a 5-0 lead before the 49th-ranked Argentine was able to win his only game of the set.
Del Potro broke Federer to level at 1-1 in the second, but the Swiss cruised to victory to the Basle crowd's delight.
American James Blake lost 4-6 7-6 6-4 to Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, a defeat that gives Andy Murray renewed hope of reaching the season-ending Masters Cup.
The top eight players in the ATP Champions Race earn places at the Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Murray lies 18th, 48 points behind the player in eighth, but could feasibly qualify if he wins the St Petersburg Open and reaches the final of the last Masters Series tournament in Paris next week.
Blake, currently 10th in the race for the Master Cup's qualifying spots, needed to reach at least the semi-finals in Basle to improve his points ranking.
"I don't have it as a goal to make Shanghai but if I play well in Paris I still have a chance," said the the world number seven.
Five of the eight qualifying berths for the Masters Cup are already accounted for with Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Andy Roddick through to the prestigious finale.
World number eight Fernando Gonzalez of Chile improved his prospects of joining them by booking a place in the quarter-finals.
Second seed Gonzalez, seventh in the Masters Cup race, overcame Croatian qualifier Roko Karanusic 6-4 7-6 to set up a meeting with unseeded Finn Jarkko Nieminen.
Nieminen, the world number 29, secured his place with a 6-4 3-6 7-5 win over Argentine sixth seed Guillermo Canas.
Federer, who won the Basle title for the first time last year, is scheduled to meet Nicolas Kiefer in the quarter-finals.