Spaniard battles back at Paris Masters to stay in contention for ATP World Tour Finals.
|Federer has already qualified for the end of season ATP Finals in London, but has his eyes on his first Paris title [AFP]|
Swiss champion Roger Federer secured his position in the third round of the Paris Masters with a 6-4, 6-4 win over local favourite Richard Gasquet.
Federer stepped up his bid to win the Paris tournament for the first time by sending down a barrage of winners to the unfortunate Gasquet as defending champion Novak Djokovic and third-seeded Andy Murray of Britain also advanced.
Fresh off his victory at the Swiss Indoors, where he won his 65th title last week, Federer converted his first break point for a 2-1 lead with a sharp forehand volley and closed out the first set with an ace after losing only three points on his serve.
Gasquet saved three break points in the first game of the second set to level at 40-40 but stopped playing after misjudging a shot from Federer that was in, with the Swiss being awarded the point. Gasquet then sent a backhand long and Federer held his serve to move up 2-0.
Federer sealed the win on his first match point to improve his record against Gasquet to 7-1, after losing their first meeting five years ago.
Murray had some problems in his 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over former No 3 David Nalbandian and received treatment for an apparent wrist injury during the decider.
Murray next plays No 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Serbian second seed Novak Djokovic was also in trouble early on against Argentine Juan Monaco before recovering to win 6-4 6-3.
Djokovic’s next test will be against Frenchman Michael Llodra, who he could face in the Davis Cup final later this year.
World number eight Andy Roddick breezed past Finnish qualifier Jarkko Nieminen 6-1 6-4. He next takes on Latvian Ernests Gulbis.