Berdych, Seppi into 2nd round at Paris Masters

BY foxsports • November 9, 2009

Former winner Tomas Berdych beat French qualifier Vincent Millot 6-3, 7-6 (4) to reach the second round of the Paris Masters tournament on Monday.

The 24-year-old Berdych, who won in Paris in 2005, served 10 aces and broke his opponent three times on his way to his one hour and 25 minutes victory.

The 247th-ranked Millot wasted a 5-2 lead in the second set and his Czech opponent finished the match with an ace on his first match point.

Berdych, a former world No. 9 who is currently 20th in the ATP rankings, will next face 14th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain.

Viktor Troicki of Serbia benefited from Paul-Henri Mathieu's right calf injury to advance and will face 13th-seeded Radek Stepanek in the second round. Mathieu, who reached the final in Hamburg earlier this year, failed to convert a set point and retired when trailing 7-6 (4), 3-0.

"It's a shame because it was very close and I had some good opportunities to break him," Mathieu said. "But I suddenly felt a pain in my calf after a run and it was difficult for me to keep going."

Italian Andreas Seppi beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 6-3 after winning nearly 75 percent of the points played on his serve while Ivo Karlovic of Croatia served 21 aces and reached the second round with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Former three-time champion Marat Safin of Russia, who is planning to retire after this tournament, will take on French qualifier Thierry Ascione later Monday.

Another former winner, Sebastien Grosjean of France, will face 2005 runner-up Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the final match of the evening.

Lukasz Kubot of Poland defeated Andreas Beck of Germany 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 while Albert Montanes of Spain struggled to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3). A two-time title winner this year, Montanes will next play defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Tsonga retired in the first round of the Valencia Open last week with a wrist injury but is confident he will be able to play before his home crowd.

"I played (in training) earlier today and everything went fine," Tsonga told a news conference. "I'm happy to come back here, I have a lot of good memories."

Tsonga is one of the seven players who can still qualify for this month's eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London. No. 7 Nikolay Davydenko and No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist last week in Valencia, are in the best position ahead of Robin Soderling, Fernando Gonzalez, Tsonga, Radek Stepanek and Marin Cilic.

"I will give it everything, and will go on the court to win," said Tsonga, who will need to defend his title without facing Verdasco in the final to qualify for the season-ending event. "I have nothing to lose."

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