The second-seeded world No. 12 Simon subdued Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 6-2, while a fourth-seeded Gasquet, ranked 16th in the world, grounded wild card and fading former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at The Arena. Simon and Gasquet enjoyed byes into the second round here.
"He's not the No. 3 he was a few years ago, but he can still dazzle sometimes, and you can easily find yourself a break down against him," Gasquet said of Davydenko. "So it was important to hold my serve."
Simon's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be wild card and fellow Frenchman Guillaume Rufin, while Gasquet will face seventh-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
An upset came when Rufin smacked 16 aces and ousted fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, while Kohlschreiber avoided an upset by handling France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 7-5 on Day 3.
In some second-round action on Thursday, top-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych will take on French qualifier Florent Serra and third-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils will battle American Michael Russell. Monfils titled here two years ago.
The winner of this $518,000 tournament will collect $95,000.