Paris - World number four Stan Wawrinka has snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday as he qualified for the last 16 of the Paris Masters with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) victory over Dominic Thiem.
The Swiss 29-year-old came through a tight match in 1hr 36min against the Austrian, to book a meeting with big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.
"I'm trying to find my confidence, I have some victories but I know that my level of game is there. What I still miss is winning matches," said Wawrinka, who won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January and admitted he was somewhat surprised by his recent rise into the top five.
"I'm so happy, I didn't think I would be able to be ranked so high, but I had ups and downs. In the summer I didn't play very well and I had bad moments, although I did well in the US Open.
"I wouldn't change anything and I know I have a good level of game. I know things can change quickly; I can lose first round and I can also go very far in a tournament, so the important thing is really to concentrate on improving my level.
"Of course, I can't have as a goal a final or a semi-final right now, but I am here this week to do everything I can and go as far as I can."
Earlier on the third day of the penultimate tournament of the season, Canada's Milos Raonic kept alive his chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals with a tough three-set win over American qualifier Jack Sock.
The number seven seed needs to win the tournament in Paris to guarantee his place in the elite eight-man field to take part in the season finale, which begins in London on November 9.
He scraped through against world number 44 Sock, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) in just over two hours.
Awaiting Raonic in the third round will be Roberto Bautista-Agut, who knocked out Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2.
Later on centre court, Andy Murray makes his tournament bow as the British number one tackles French hope Julien Benneteau with world number two Roger Federer to follow in his much-anticipated second round match against another Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy.
Federer comes to the French capital less than 500 points behind Novak Djokovic in the race for the season-ending world number one spot.
There are a maximum 1 000 points on offer at Bercy for the champion while the World Tour Finals offer 1 500 points.
Federer can also close ground or overtake the Serb, who won his second round match over Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday, when he plays the Davis Cup final for Switzerland against France, starting on November 21 in Lille.
Fourth seed and 2013 finalist David Ferrer is in action against Belgian hotshot David Goffin and Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori will take on Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo in two of the feature matches later in the day.
Results on the third day of the ATP Paris Masters on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT) 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Milos Raonic (CAN x7) bt Jack Sock (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4)