Originally created 11/04/04

Roddick reaches third round at Paris Masters

PARIS - Andy Roddick surged into the third round of the Paris Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 rout of Armenia's Sargis Sargsian on Wednesday in his first match since late September.

The top-seeded Roddick won in 51 minutes and raised his record this year to a tour-leading 71-14. Top-ranked Roger Federer (69-6) is not playing at this indoor event.

"I couldn't ask for much more. I hit the ball pretty well," said Roddick, whose previous match was a loss to Federer in the Bangkok Open final.

"I needed that break," he said, referring to his long absence. "I was fatigued mentally."

Sixth-seeded Marat Safin - yelling at himself and the umpire and slamming his racket - defeated Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic 6-7 (1), 6-3, 7-5. Four other seeded players - No. 7 Gaston Gaudio, No. 10 Tommy Robredo, No. 12 Dominik Hrbaty and No. 16 Jiri Novak - lost in the second round. But No. 13 Guillermo Canas, No. 14 Nicolas Massu and No. 17 Vince Spadea joined Safin in the third round.

Safin was as temperamental as ever. The Russian even showed off his soccer skills: heading one ball over the net, volleying another over, and easily juggling a third on the inside of his foot.

Ljubicic had won two of their previous three meetings. Entering Wednesday's match, the last seven sets the pair played against each other all ended in tiebreakers.

"I do not enjoy playing tennis against him," Safin said. "He sees the ball well, is consistent, can play from the back of the court, doesn't make many errors, serves well."

Toward the start of the second set, Safin was warned by umpire Romano Grillotti of Italy.

"He gave me a warning for saying something in Russian, when he cannot even understand what I am saying," Safin said. "But all of a sudden he decided it was a bad word. This has no logic. How can an Italian explain to a Russian what he just said. I tried to explain this to him."

Safin, who served 13 aces, earned the crucial break to go up 6-5, and he closed the match on his serve.

Having reached the final at the Australian Open and in Estoril, Portugal, in April, Safin has been regaining his form nearing this month's season-ending Masters Cup in Houston. He won the China Open in September and the Madrid Masters two weeks ago.

Gaudio, the French Open champion, lost 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to Feliciano Lopez of Spain. Robredo of Spain fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to Jurgen Melzer of Austria. Hrbaty of Slovakia lost to Cyril Saulnier of France 7-6 (4), 6-2. Mikhail Youzhny of Russia downed Novak of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5.

Saulnier has won more wins this year (28) than in his previous five years (26) on the ATP circuit. The Frenchman next meets Sweden's Robin Soderling.

"I played the right tactics today," Saulnier said. "I got straight into the match and I stayed there. The crowd really helped."

Spadea downed Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (4), 6-0 while Massu overcame Belgium's Christophe Rochus 6-2, 7-6 (4). Canas beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-3, and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic downed Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-4, 6-1.


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