Fancied Ferrer sinks to Melzer defeat in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - Ninth seed David Ferrer fell to a surprise 6-4 6-0 7-6 defeat by Austria's Jurgen Melzer in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.

The Spaniard, a finalist in Rome earlier in the claycourt season, never got to grips with the Austrian's pace from the back of the court and was two sets down in barely an hour.

Melzer, seeded 22, reached the fourth round for the first time in eight attempts when Ferrer crunched a forehand into the net to lose the third set tiebreak 7-1 after an hour and 56 minutes.

Melzer now faces Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili, conqueror of Andy Roddick earlier on Saturday, for a place in the quarter-finals.

(Editing by Miles Evans)