Djokovic beats Monaco, advances in Paris
Novak Djokovic reached the third round of the Paris Masters by beating Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 on Wednesday.
The third-ranked Serb, coming off his win over top-ranked Roger Federer in the Basel final last week, will next face either 16th-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany or Arnaud Clement of France.
After trading breaks in the first set, Djokovic broke again in the eighth game and then served it out.
Djokovic, who has never gone beyond the third round at this tournament, led 2-0 in the second set but then lost five consecutive games. He saved a set point in the eighth game before leveling at 5-5 with a combination of drop shots and powerful groundstrokes.
Djokovic broke to lead 6-5 when Monaco sent a backhand long, and he then closed it out on his first match point.
Ninth-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden kept alive his slim hopes of qualifying for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals by defeating big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (6).
Soderling, who will take on former champion Nikolay Davydenko in the third round, needs to at least reach the final to have a chance of qualifying for the season-ending event in London later this month.
Davydenko and Soderling are among five players still in the running to secure the two remaining spots. The others are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco and Fernando Gonzalez.
Soderling won 72 percent of points on serve and hit 12 aces to beat Karlovic, who failed to convert any of his eight break opportunities.
Top-ranked Roger Federer will launch his bid to win the Paris Masters for the first time later Wednesday in a second-round match against Julien Benneteau of France, while No. 2 Rafael Nadal will play Nicolas Almagro in an all-Spanish match.