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Djokovic knocked out in Paris

October 31, 2008 10:14 IST

American Andy Roddick claimed one of the three remaining spots for the Masters Cup, while world number three Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Paris Masters in the third round on Thursday.

A dream final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is still on the cards after the two top seeds advanced to the quarter-finals.

Federer swept past Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4 while Spaniard Nadal beat local favourite Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2.

Roddick booked his ticket to Shanghai by ending the run of Frenchman Gilles Simon with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

The 2003 US Open champion needed his best serve to beat the in-form Simon, who reached the Madrid Masters final earlier this month.

Although he managed only four points on Roddick's first serve, Simon proved a tough nut to crack and the American needed five match points to clinch victory.

"It's always an honour to qualify. I think this is six straight years, so that's a good accomplishment. I'm looking forward to it," said Roddick, who will next face another Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Simon, eighth in the ATP Race, still has a chance of joining Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko and Roddick in Shanghai but his fate now depends on his rivals' results in Paris.

Despite Simon's exit, the crowd at Bercy still had plenty to cheer about as Australian Open runner-up Tsonga produced some amazing shots to down Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Tsonga, who still has an outside chance of qualifying for the Masters Cup, has now beaten Djokovic twice in succession after losing to the Serb in the Melbourne Park final in January.

Argentine David Nalbandian also hit some brilliant shots to thrash Davis Cup team mate Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-0 and keep his hopes of travelling to Shanghai alive.


Nalbandian, 14th in the ATP Race, showed he had what it takes to retain his Paris title during his ruthless 66-minute drubbing of Del Potro. Nalbandian will secure a place in the season ender if he triumphs in the French capital.

Del Potro, seventh in the ATP Race, will miss out on a Masters Cup spot if Nalbandian faces James Blake in the final and the Argentine claims the crown.

Nalbandian will next face Briton Andy Murray as the world number four eased past Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6.

American Blake produced a clinical 6-4, 6-4 victory against German Philipp Kohlschreiber to stay in the running for China.

Tennis romantics still can dream of Federer-Nadal showdown for the first time since their epic Wimbledon final.

Federer, who showed no mercy in his victory against big-serving Cilic, will be gunning for revenge when he takes on Blake. The last time they met, Blake ruined Federer's Olympic hopes by beating the Swiss in the Beijing quarter-finals.

"I don't like the word 'revenge' but I would be pleased to beat him," Federer told reporters.

A break in each set was enough for Wimbledon champion Nadal to see off Monfils although he had to stave off five break points in the third game of the second set.

Nadal, who now has won all three of his matches against Monfils, will face either Czech Tomas Berdych or world number six Davydenko.

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