Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Santoro upsets Roddick in Lyon

WILD CARD James Blake advanced to the second round of the Swiss Indoors, while Nikolay Davydenko pounded Filippo Volandri in the St. Petersburg Open

AP , LYON, FRANCEAP, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIAAP, BASEL, SWITZERLANDAP, LINZ, AUSTRIA

Fabrice Santoro served three aces in his last game to close out top-seeded Andy Roddick 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Lyon Grand Prix on Wednesday.

Santoro, who won his first career ATP tour title in Lyon in 1997, faced only two break points and prevailed after just over two hours on the Lyon carpet.

The 34-year-old French veteran, whose title at Newport, Rhode Island, in July, was his first in six years on tour, advanced to face compatriot Sebastien Grosjean, who dispatched Rodolphe Cadart of France, 6-3, 6-2, earlier on Wednesday.

In other matches, Belgium's Olivier Rochus held off Frenchman Michael Llodra 7-6 (5), 6-2, while No. 4 Richard Gasquet restored France's honor by beating Christophe Rochus of Belgium 7-6 (5), 6-3.

In second-round play, Frenchman Marc Gicquel made easy work of Germany's Benjamin Becker, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. He will face Diego Hartfield, who defeated sixth-seeded and fellow Argentine Juan Monaco, 6-4, 6-3.

Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Filippo Volandri 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday to advance to the second round at the St. Petersburg Open.

Davydenko, who withdrew from the Madrid Masters last week because of a right elbow injury, broke the 44th-ranked Italian two times in the first set.

Volandri broke the Russian to trail 3-1 in the second set before losing three straight games.

The fourth-ranked Davydenko qualified for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai next month by winning the Kremlin Cup two weeks ago.

In the second round, seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber won five straight games in the first set to beat wild card Denis Matsukevitch 6-1, 6-1; and Ernests Gulbis defeated Nicolas Massu 6-1, 6-2.

The 47th-ranked Gulbis, a semi-finalist last year on his ATP Tour debut, won six of eight service games to love and had 14 aces.

"I knew [the] strong and weak sides of his game," Gulbis said. "But not much depended on him in today's match as I served and received really well."

James Blake advanced to the second round of the Swiss Indoors by beating Oscar Hernandez 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

The fourth-seeded Blake is one of 20 players seeking to clinch one of the last three spots remaining at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai next month. The American reached the final last year but lost to top-ranked Roger Federer.

Hernandez saved one match point on his serve with Blake leading 5-3 in the second set. But the American went up 40-0 in the next game and closed out the match with a service winner.

Blake will next face Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.

"That's what I am worried about right now, not the semis or the final," Blake said.

Blake, a wild card in Basel, has to overtake two players to qualify for the Masters Cup. Next week's Paris Masters is the last tournament of the year before the Shanghai event.

"I notice it but I don't worry about it," Blake said. "I can't be worried about the other guys, I am just trying to do well at the end of the year."

If Blake makes the semifinals in Basel, he would pull into a tie for eighth place, the last to yield a spot in Shanghai.

Blake said that wasn't the reason he asked for a wild card, although playing in Shanghai two years in a row would be ``an honor.''

"It was a mistake, miscommunication between my agent and me, I just forgot to enter," he said. "Seven years on the tour and I still screw up."

This story has been viewed 2428 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top