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Nadal, Nalbandian reach 3rd round at Paris Masters

Nadal, Nalbandian reach 3rd round at Paris Masters

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain and defending champion David Nalbandian both advanced to the third round of the Paris Masters with straight-sets wins on Wednesday.
Nalbandian, who beat Nadal in last year's final, downed Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-3 to set up another meeting with fellow Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. Nadal topped Florent Serra of France 6-2, 6-4 and next faces No. 16 Gael Monfils of France.
"He's playing very well this year, and I have to play my best tennis if I want to have chances to win tomorrow," said Nadal, who has not played against Monfils since beating him at the Rome Masters in 2006.
Nadal said the 22-year-old Monfils has improved after winning only nine games in two previous straight-sets defeats to the Spaniard.
"He can play aggressive, sometimes he play defensive, two meters behind the baseline," Nadal said. "He can do something different."
The 63rd-ranked Serra won just five games in two previous defeats to Nadal, and has lost to the five-time Grand Slam champion three times this year. Nadal took only 27 minutes to win the first set before Serra rallied briefly, forcing Nadal to save a break point in the fourth game of the second set.
Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, who won here in 2006, progressed with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and will face 2005 champion Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic after he beat No. 12 Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 7-5.
No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France rallied to beat 2004 runner-up Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and next faces No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Tsonga concluded the match by hitting three spectacular winners on Stepanek's serve _ a crosscourt backhand, a lob on the run, and a powerful forehand down the line.
Kiefer saved two match points before the eighth-seeded Nalbandian served out the match with an ace to secure a third matchup this month against the ninth-seeded Del Potro. Nalbandian beat Del Potro in the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors last week after losing to him in the third round of the Madrid Masters the week before.
"This is going to be the third time in three weeks, so that is a little bit strange," Nalbandian said of facing del Potro again. "It's going to be a tough one, we both know each other very well."
Nalbandian saved a break point in the sixth game of the first set but was then largely in control and it was Kiefer who struggled on second serve, fending off two break points in the ninth game.
Nalbandian broke him in the second game of the second set with a backhand shot that bounced on the line.
Meanwhile, tenth-seeded Gilles Simon advanced 6-3, 7-5 past Igor Andreev to keep alive his chances of reaching the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, which is reserved for the top eight players in the ATP race.
Simon broke Andreev in 11th game to lead 6-5 and won on his second match point when Andreev returned into the net. The Frenchman next faces seventh-seeded Andy Roddick of the United States, who is also vying for a Masters Cup spot.
Simon and Roddick both took a step closer to qualifying after No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain lost 6-3, 6-2 to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in Wednesday's play.
"I knew that winning this first match would put me in a good position and give me a bit of breathing space," Simon said, adding that he has an idea of how he will play against Roddick. "I will have to serve well, and I will have to make him play on my returns."
Ferrer started the week in ninth place in the ATP race behind Simon, del Potro and Roddick, and the Spaniard would now need a forfeit from another player to qualify for the prestigious tournament.
Marin Cilic of Croatia also advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) win over Marcel Granollers of Spain and meets the winner of Wednesday's later match between Roger Federer and Robin Soderling.
Later, fourth-seeded Andy Murray faced Sam Querrey of the United States.
The 21-year-old Murray is bidding to win a third straight Masters Series title after victories in Cincinnati and Madrid. Murray has five titles this year and hasn't lost since Federer beat him in the U.S. Open final.


Updated : 2021-10-18 21:50 GMT+08:00