Berdych, Tsonga, Roddick advance at Paris Masters
Paris, France – Former champion Tomas Berdych, French Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Roddick were a trio of second-round winners Tuesday at the $3.06 million Paris Masters, the final ATP Masters event of the year.
The fifth-seeded Berdych notched his 49th match win of the season and moved closer to securing a berth at the eight-player ATP World Tour Finals in London in two weeks with a 6-3, 7-5 handling of former world No. 7 Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on the indoor hardcourts at Palais Omnisports.
The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Berdych, who titled here back in 2005, will qualify for the Tour Finals with a victory in the third round this week.
Meanwhile, the sixth-seeded Tsonga, who titled in Vienna two weeks ago and captured this Paris Masters event in 2008, eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Tsonga, like Berdych, is also vying for one of the final three spots at the World Tour Finals.
A 13th-seeded Roddick got past French wild card Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-4 on Day 2. The former world No. 1 Roddick could face current world No. 2 Andy Murray in the round of 16.
In some first-round action on Tuesday, Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky topped last week's surprise Basel finalist Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3 and French wild card Jeremy Chardy was leading last week's Valencia champion Marcel Granollers 6-3 when the Spaniard retired. The Japanese Nishikori stunned world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Swiss icon Roger Federer in the championship match in Basel this past weekend.
Towering American John Isner outlasted Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), while gritty Argentine Juan Monaco mauled American qualifier Donald Young 6-4, 6-2 in the first round. The 6-foot-9 Isner swatted 20 aces in the just-under-three-hour affair versus Wawrinka.
Additional opening-round wins on Tuesday came for Croat Ivan Dodig and Spain's Feliciano Lopez, who bested Frenchman and fellow left-hander Michael Llodra 7-6 (9-7), 6-3. Dodig is rewarded with a second-round match against the reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Djokovic, while Lopez will meet another Frenchman, eighth seed Gael Monfils, in the round of 32. Monfils is the two-time reigning Paris Masters runner-up. He lost to Swede Robin Soderling in last year's big-hitting finale here.
This week's top seeds are the 2009 Paris Masters champion Djokovic, the 2011 Aussie Open runner-up Murray and the former top-ranked great Federer, who's fresh off his first title in 10 months after winning in his native Basel last week.
The 2011 Paris Masters titlist will claim $625,000.