SHANGHAI: Gilles Simon swept aside Czech alternate Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-4 on Friday but faced an anxious wait to see if he would reach the Masters Cup semi-finals.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has now won two of his three matches but needs
Britain's Andy Murray to beat defending champion Roger Federer in the later match to qualify.
Simon broke twice in a dominant first set up and again in the first game of the second, and weathered growing resistance from the Czech to finish it in one hour and 11 minutes.
It was Simon's first win in two matches against Stepanek after their first meeting at this year's French Open.
Simon qualified for the eight-man season finale after top-ranked Rafael Nadal withdrew, while Stepanek was called up during the group phase when Andy Roddick pulled out with an ankle injury.
Murray takes a 3-2 head-to-head record into his crunch clash later with Federer, who is gunning for a fifth year-end title and his third in a row.