Paris: Novak Djokovic dispensed with the Darth Vader mask but still proved too daunting an adversary for American John Isner when he reached the Paris Masters quarter-finals with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-2 victory on Thursday.
The Serbian world number two, who entered the Bercy arena last year as the infamous Star Wars villain, survived a barrage of aces from the towering Isner before ruthlessly dispatching him.
"I know, I know. It`s my fault. I was not prepared enough... so I`m going to have to be pretending that I`m myself this year. No Darth Vader," Djokovic, who watched nine aces fly by him in the opener, told a news conference.
Roger Federer showed glimpses of his brilliant best as the 17-times grand slam champion outclassed German Philip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 to move into the last eight.
A day after securing his place at next week`s ATP World Tour finals in London, the Swiss was won comfortably to set up a clash with Juan Martin del Potro, who beat him in the Basel final last week.
"It wouldn`t be nice to lose once more against him. If it happens I will accept it, but if I win I will have something extra for London," Federer told a news conference.
"I have an idea of my tactics, my game plan. Now it`s important to be able to do it, actually do it on the court."
He will be joined in London by compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka and France`s Richard Gasquet, who qualified after Canadian Milos Raonic, who had a slim chance of snatching one of the last two spots, lost 7-6(13) 6-4 to Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic`s next opponent, Swiss seventh seed Wawrinka, dismissed Spain`s Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-2 while Gasquet was due on court later against Japan`s Kei Nishikori.
Wawrinka is in eighth place in the ATP Race to London while Gasquet is ninth.
The cut off point for qualification was lowered to ninth place after British world number four Andy Murray pulled out of the season finale because of lower back surgery.
Spaniard David Ferrer, already assured of his place in London, continued his bid to become the first man to retain the Bercy title by demolishing France`s Gilles Simon 6-2 6-3.