Basel:Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the Swiss Indoors on Friday, staying on course to meet in the final.
Three-time defending champion Federer cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev.
Federer next faces wild card Marco Chiudinelli, his childhood friend in Basel who will play his first semifinal of an injury-blighted career.
"It's amazing to play Marco," Federer said. "I've never played a really good friend on the tour. I'm looking forward to it."
Djokovic will meet fifth-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic on Saturday.
The second-seeded Djokovic trailed by a set and a service break before rallying to a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over Stanislas Wawrinka.
Djokovic had to work hard against the sixth-seeded Swiss, a day after breezing past Jan Hernych 6-0, 6-0 _ his first double bagel in an elite tournament.
"It was more than a test," the Serb said. "I was managing to hold on. (Wawrinka) was controlling the match most of the time up to the end of the second set."
Djokovic reached the semi-finals for the 14th time in 20 tournaments this year, and extended his tour-leading win total to 69.
Wawrinka broke Djokovic's serve in the eighth game of the opening set, and then for 4-3 in the second.
"He served exceptionally well for two sets and I was having a lot of trouble getting the ball back," Djokovic said.
But Djokovic struck back immediately, and punched the air while leaping, on taking an early lead in the tiebreaker.
Wawrinka sent a backhand long on the first set point he faced.
Djokovic raced to 4-0 in the deciding set and soon closed out his sixth straight win over Wawrinka.
Stepanek converted all four of his break points as he fought back to beat fourth-seeded Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Stepanek stayed in contention for a place at the ATP Tour finals in London this month, but the loss hurt Cilic's chances.
The Croat likely has to win the Paris Masters next week to qualify for the eight-player lineup.
Chiudinelli advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Richard Gasquet of France, who was hampered by a shoulder injury.