Djokovic, Roddick move into Basel quarters

World No. 1 star Novak Djokovic and ranked Andy Roddick were a pair of second-round winners Thursday at the $1.72 million Swiss Indoors Basel tennis event.

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Djokovic drilled Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 6-1, 6-2 in a brisk 55-minute affair at St. Jakobshalle. The Serbian star improved to an amazing 66-3 for the year by popping eight aces and not allowing even one-break point chance for Kubot on Day 4.

Djokovic was last year's Basel runner-up to hometown hero Roger Federer and upset the four-time champion Federer in the final here two years ago.

The high-flying Djokovic returned to action this week after being sidelined with a back injury since mid-September.

"I felt good on the court and I'm happy to go through," Djokovic said.

Up next for Djokovic will be 2005 Basel runner-up Marcos Baghdatis, who is also a former Aussie Open runner-up.

The seventh-seeded Roddick dropped the first set before charging back to beat dangerous Czech Radek Stepanek 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. The American star fired 10 aces and was able to tally one more break (4-3) than his Czech counterpart.

Roddick will face Federer here on Friday. The super Swiss is a laughable 20-2 lifetime against the American. Federer beat Roddick in a semifinal here in Basel a year ago and the Swiss great is a perfect 3-0 all-time versus the American in Basel.

Also on Thursday, Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin topped American qualifier James Blake 6-3, 6-4, German Florian Mayer mauled former top-five star Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-3, 6-1, and capable Japanese Kei Nishikori straight- setted Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

The 2011 Basel champion will collect $450,000.