11 Nov 2009

Davydenko and Verdasco move closer to World Tennis Tour finals

4:00 pm on 11 November 2009

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Spain's Fernando Verdasco moved closer to spots at the World Tennis Tour Finals in London with contrasting second-round wins at the Paris Masters.

The World number seven Davydenko, who would make sure of entering the season finale with a semi-final appearance here, brushed aside German Benjamin Becker 6-2 6-1.

Verdasco, the world number eight, who will a book a trip to London if he wins the title but could qualify earlier depending on how other contenders fare, needed over two hours to move past Italian Andreas Seppi 6-7 6-4 6-4.

The Spaniard's win meant Czech Radek Stepanek and Croatia's Marin Cilic dropped out of the race, leaving just five players fighting for the two remaining tickets to the London event featuring the world's top eight players, with Davydenko and Verdasco first in line.

The other three are Swede Robin Soderling, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the defending champion in Paris.

World number nine Tsonga, who retired from his first-round match against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in Valencia last week because of a wrist injury, looked as fit as ever, outclassing Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-1 7-5 in a second-round match.

The Eighth seed Tonga, who had a first-round bye like all seeded players, will next face compatriot Gilles Simon, who ousted Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 3-6 7-6 in dramatic fashion in the day's last match.