Fri, Nov 02, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Formidable Roger Federer cuts Karlovic down to size


Ivo Karlovic broke Roger Federer's serve for the first time in his life, but couldn't stop the Swiss juggernaut from rolling into the third round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

Croatian Karlovic, the tallest man in tennis at a tree-topping 2.08m, went down 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 as world No. 1 Federer played for the first time at the Bercy event since 2003.

Federer had gone 67 service games over four previous matches without a loss before Karlovic ended his duck to claim their second set.

But the Swiss top seed got straight back in harness, breaking to start the final set and rolling ahead against a man he had just beaten days earlier in the Basle semi-finals.

The match was the first between the pair that did not feature a tiebreak, the others all containing at least two deciders each.

Federer, who won his seventh title of the season on Sunday, next plays Argentine threat David Nalbandian, who defeated him for the Madrid trophy last month.

Nalbandian put Spain's Carlos Moya out of the race for the season-ending Masters Cup earlier, 6-4, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal began his build-up for the season-ending Masters Cup by beating Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-1.

Nadal, at home in the capital thanks to three straight Roland Garros crowns on clay, is trying his luck for the first time on the opposite side of town -- indoors at the Bercy arena.

Nadal played only Madrid in the wake of his fourth-round US Open upset two months ago.

He is one of six men already into the elite Shanghai field, with the last two positions currently being decided this week at the final event of the ATP regular season.

Two open slots remain to complete the year-end lineup with 13 men still in with a chance. Qualifiers already include: Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer.

German Tommy Haas is in provisional eighth place while No. 7 Fernando Gonzalez missed a chance to clinch a spot after losing in the second round on Tuesday to Mikhail Youzhny.

Andy Murray is set amidst a group of rivals, including Spain's Tommy Robredo, Czech Tomas Berdych and American James Blake, who are all jockeying for one of the last places.

Frenchman Fabrice Santoro scored the first upset of the week as he beat out of sorts third seed Djokovic 6-3, 6-2 as the Serb suffered from the effects of the recent removal of two wisdom teeth.

Murray meanwhile turned around a tiebreak to keep his bid for China alive with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 victory over Jarkko Nieminen and next plays the wily and court-wise Santoro.

Davydenko, seeded fourth, played with an ongoing elbow injury and scraped out a defeat of Argentine Juan Del Potro 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

No. 10 Richard Gasquet joined compatriot Santoro in advancing as he beat compatriot Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-5, 7-6 (7/3).

Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis ended the Shanghai hopes of Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

First seed Nicole Vaidisova was eliminated from the WTA Bell Challenge when she was forced to retire after the second set of her first-round match against fellow Czech Renata Voracova.

World No. 12 Vaidisova was tied 6-2, 3-6 in her match with Voracova when she suffered an injury to her right wrist.

Voracova moves on to face American Vania King in the next round.

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