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.
imperiously and secured the decisive break of serve in the third game of
the first set with a typically deft forehand drop volley.
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.
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
"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."
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
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
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."
next opponent will be Croatian 13th seed Marin Cilic, who came through
6-4, 4-6, 6-3 against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.
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).
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,
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.
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