Fernando Verdasco advances in Paris

Updated: November 7, 2011, 7:15 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Fernando Verdasco of Spain rallied past Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the second round of the Paris Masters on Monday.

Julien Benneteau of France, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, Kevin Anderson of South Africa, and Germans Philipp Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer also advanced.

The tournament is the last chance for some players to gain one of the last three remaining spots for the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Cilic hit a forehand winner to take the first set, but Verdasco bounced back by jumping to 3-0 leads in the second and third sets.

"It's slower than last year," Verdasco said. "I prefer maybe a little bit more this court because it's slower and I have more time to prepare my shots."

Verdasco is hoping to play for Spain in next month's Davis Cup final.

"If I play Davis Cup, then I will try to prepare and get ready for that final the best as possible," Verdasco said. "And if I'm not, at least finish well here."

Verdasco's next opponent is fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Benneteau defeated Milos Raonic of Canada, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-4, setting up a match with 13th-seeded Andy Roddick. The French wild card reached the final of the Winston-Salem Open in August and has improved his ranking to No. 54 after being No. 87 six months ago.

Kohlschreiber defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 6-2. The German qualifier broke to lead 4-3 in the opening set before going 4-0 up in the second.

Garcia-Lopez edged Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 and next plays sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Giraldo slammed his racket to the ground after netting a backhand to lose the match.

Anderson had 13 aces to outlast Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Nicolas Mahut served three straight aces to close out a 6-2, 6-3 win over former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain and next plays fourth-seeded David Ferrer.

Mahut was playing for the first time since withdrawing from a second-round match at the Valencia Open following the death of his 2-year-old nephew eight days ago.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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