Federer stretched his head-to-head record over Nieminen to 10-0
Roger Federer reached the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals with a testing 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-1) win over Jarkko Nieminen.
The Finn had Federer on the rack in the first set with the world number two saving two set points at 5-4 before wrapping up an intense tie-break 8-6.
A break apiece meant the second set also went to the tie-break, though this time Federer dominated, taking it 7-1.
The Swiss two-time defending champion now meets Simone Bolelli of Italy who beat Marcel Granollers 6-4 6-2.
"I have such a good record against him, that I never felt in danger," said Federer.
"We played doubles 10 years ago as juniors and we know each other well.
"This was a good match but not my best, I was playing passive sometimes and waiting for him to make the errors."
Nieminen has never taken a set off Federer but the Finn was on the verge of doing just that in Basel as his opponent mistimed several forehands.
But Federer employed chip-and-charge tactics to break back at 5-5 and went on to take the opening set on a tie-break when Nieminen fired his forehand wide.
The Swiss squandered an early break in the second set as his accuracy again deserted him and allowed Nieminen to break back.
But there were no slip-ups in the tie-break as Federer stormed into a 6-1 lead and converted the first of five match points.
Second seed David Nalbandian saw off Belgian Kristof Vliegen 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7-4) to book his place in the last eight.
Fellow Argentine Juan Martin del Potro cruised past Switzerland's Stephane Bohli 6-3 6-3, while American fourth seed James Blake rallied from a set down to beat world number 76 Oscar Hernandez 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4.