Tommy Robredo and Tommy Haas were taken to three sets before winning their second-round matches at the Paris Masters on Tuesday and keeping alive their hopes of qualifying for the Masters Cup.
Spain's Robredo saved four break points in the third set before beating France's Gilles Simon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, and Germany's Haas beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
The last two open spots in the eight-man Masters Cup will be filled this week in Paris, and the chances for eighth-placed Haas and ninth-placed Robredo improved when seventh-placed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile lost.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer have already qualified for the Shanghai event, which starts on Nov. 11.
Simon missed four chances to break Robredo at 2-1 in the last set then lost his serve decisively in the next game.
"It was a great match," Robredo said. "Simon is a very good player. He played much better than me in the second set."
Robredo made his Masters Cup debut last year. Haas is trying to get there for the first time.
Haas, who pulled out of the Lyon Grand Prix last week with a stomach problem, was troubled by his right shoulder and was feeling tired. He said his main priority was to get some rest after a long season.
"It's now been six weeks on the road," Haas said. "I was ill last week. I have had so many injuries. I will try my best here, but I don't want to put pressure on myself. I'm looking forward to the end of the season."
Haas was up a set and a break on his Serbian opponent but Tipsarevic broke back to force a tiebreaker which he won 7-5. Haas broke in the eighth game of the third set and served out.
He next faces Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who ousted Gonzalez 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"I really like this tournament but I've never won a match here," Gonzalez said. "That's the sixth year in a row."
With the defeat, Gonzalez was in a weakened position for Shanghai, vulnerable to being overtaken. He played once in the Masters Cup, in 2005.
Also close behind Gonzalez were James Blake, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, and Richard Gasquet. Even Youzhny had an outside shot.
Berdych easily beat Mario Ancic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3 to set up a third-round match with Ferrer. The Spaniard beat Mardy Fish of the United States 6-1, 7-6 (4).
Guillermo Canas of Argentina beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 7-6 (5) to also keep his slim chances alive of qualifying. He meets Robredo in the third round.
Federer plays his first game against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia on Wednesday, when Blake, Murray and Gasquet are also in action.
Federer is "No 1 - he's the best ever," Karlovic said.
Murray was involved in a minor car accident on Monday. He slightly hurt his back and said it was nothing serious.
Also in the first round, Nicolas Mahut of France beat Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (4), Filippo Volandri of Italy beat Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-0, 6-3, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland defeated Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, Fabrice Santoro of France beat Albert Montanes of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-2, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in an all-French match.