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Berdych beats Verdasco to advance in Paris

Tomas Berdych is just one win away from securing a berth in the ATP World Tour Finals.

News18test sharma |

Updated:November 9, 2011, 8:32 AM IST
Berdych beats Verdasco to advance in Paris
Tomas Berdych is just one win away from securing a berth in the ATP World Tour Finals.

Paris: Tomas Berdych is just one win away from securing a berth in the ATP World Tour Finals after beating Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.

The 2005 Paris champion won five straight games in the first set to rally from a 3-1 deficit, hitting 12 winners to only three for Verdasco.

Berdych then broke the Spaniard twice for a 5-2 lead in the second set but wasted four match points to let Verdasco level at 5-5.

Yet, the fifth-seeded Czech broke Verdasco again with a forehand pass before clinching victory with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4, and Andy Roddick downed Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 6-4 to also move into the third round.

The sixth-seeded Tsonga will automatically secure a spot for the ATP tour finals in London by winning his next match.

Roddick made only 12 unforced errors compared to 25 for Benneteau.

The 13th-seeded American hit a forehand return winner followed by a running forehand winner down the line to take the first set.

The 2003 U.S. Open champion rallied from 3-1 down in the final set to convert his first match point with a backhand volley.

"It's a lot slower than last year," Roddick said about the surface. "I don't know if they enjoy keeping us guessing, because you never know what you're going to get when you come to this tournament as far as what the court is going to be.

"Certainly makes for an entertaining first five minutes when you hit every year, though."

Roddick can no longer qualify for the tour finals but he can still end the year in the top 10. The last time Roddick failed to finish a season in the top 10 was 2001.

"I'm looking forward to this offseason and getting an extended period to train, come back, and feel like I'm actually ready," Roddick said.

Meanwhile, Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Ivan Dodig of Croatia, Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, Jeremy Chardy of France and John Isner of the U.S. won their first-round matches.

Lopez beat Michael Llodra of France 7-6 (7), 6-3, Dodig rallied past Fabio Fognini of Italy 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, Stakhovsky defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-3, and Isner edged Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-7 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Dodig will next take on top-seeded Novak Djokovic.

Lopez saved four set points in the tiebreaker before jumping to a 4-0 lead in the second set and firing an ace to clinch victory.

The Spanish lefty will next play eighth-seeded Gael Monfils of France.

Nishikori got a cold dose of reality after stunning Djokovic last weekend to reach the final of the Swiss Indoors in Basel. He could only convert two of 14 break chances against Stakhovsky, who won to meet Viktor Troicki of Serbia.

Marcel Granollers of Spain had not recovered from his heroics of last weekend either as the Valencia Open winner lost the first set 6-3 to Chardy before retiring because of an ankle injury.

Chardy broke Granollers at 3-2 and clinched victory by cracking three aces in the final game. The Frenchman moved on to face second-seeded Andy Murray.

Isner relied on his strong serve against Wawrinka, slamming 20 aces including one on match point.

"I've been in that situation, a bunch of tight matches, where although I'm maybe a little tired, I'm still able to hit my biggest serve," Isner said. "That's what I did."

Isner is currently ranked 25th and hopes to rise into the top 10.

"It's something I definitely think I can do," Isner said. "It won't happen this year but it's going to be one of my goals in 2012."

In evening matches, Juan Monaco of Argentina cruised past Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 6-2 and Richard Gasquet of France defeated Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 7-6 (4).

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