Tennis

Top seeds advance in Paris

2010-11-10 18:27
Andy Murray (File)

Paris - Top seed Roger Federer, defending champion Novak Djokovic and third seed Andy Murray all hit form on the super-quick courts at the Bercy arena to reach the Paris Masters third round on Wednesday.

Federer breezed past home favourite Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 and Djokovic comfortably defeated Argentina's Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-3, but Murray had to battle back from a set down to overcome former champion David Nalbandian.

Federer served imperiously and secured the decisive break of serve in the third game of the first set with a typically deft forehand drop volley.

He broke Gasquet in the opening game of the second set and went on to close out victory in a leisurely 68 minutes, teeing him up for a showdown with unseeded Czech Radek Stepanek for a place in the last eight.

Second seed Djokovic, who received a first-round bye, fought back from an early break in the first set against Monaco and then saw off break points in his opening two service games of the second before completing a routine win.

"He was taking the balls early and being aggressive, and he was the better player at the start of the match," said Djokovic, who lost to Federer in the Basel final on Sunday.

"I was lucky to get the break. When I did that I regained confidence and control of the match, and felt better on the court."

Djokovic, defending the title he won against Gael Monfils last year, will face Michael Llodra in the third round after the Frenchman upset American 16th seed John Isner 6-3, 6-4.

Murray never got going in the first set against Nalbandian, who won 88 percent of the points on his first serve to take the set 6-2.

The Scot raised his game in the second set, however, and required just one break point opportunity to level the tie, with Nalbandian putting a forehand beyond the baseline at set point.

Nalbandian has a fine record at the Bercy arena, having won the event in 2007 and lost in the final in 2008, before missing last year's tournament following hip surgery, but he blinked first in the deciding set.

Murray needed treatment on a wrist injury at 2-2 but he took a 5-3 lead when the Argentine sent a forehand long and then calmly served out for a hard-earned 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

"I struggled at the start," admitted Murray.

"He didn't miss the ball for a set and a half. I haven't played on such a quick court since I've been on the tour.

"But I changed the tension in my racquets by four or five pounds and I felt much more comfortable at the end of the second set."

Murray's next opponent will be Croatian 13th seed Marin Cilic, who came through 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Swedish fourth seed Robin Soderling will hope to complete the quarter-final line-up later on Wednesday, when he takes on France's Gilles Simon.

Spain's David Ferrer, the seventh seed, overcame a first-set wobble to beat Italian Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

Eighth seed Andy Roddick swept into the third round with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, while Russian 10th seed Nikolay Davydenko -- the 2006 champion -- beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-0.

Cilic's countryman Ivan Ljubicic, the number 15 seed, became the third seed to exit the tournament when he fell 6-4, 6-4 to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.

France in the evening session.

Results:

Andy Roddick (USA x8) bt Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 6-1, 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x13) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt Juan Monaco (ARG) 6-4, 6-3

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt Ivan Ljubicic (CRO x15) 6-4, 6-4

Andy Murray (GBR x3) bt David Nalbandian (ARG) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Jurgen Melzer (AUT X11) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6)

Michael Llodra (FRA) bt John Isner (USA x16) 6-3, 6-4

Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x10) bt Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-3, 6-0

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