Top seed Andy Roddick of the United States and defending champion Tim Henman of Britain have been knocked out of the third round of the Paris Masters Series tennis tournament. The tournament is the last Masters Series event before the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, Texas, later this month.
Roddick lost in straight sets to Max Mirnyi of Belarus (7-6, 6-2). Mirnyi next plays Robin Soderling of Sweden, a straight-set winner over Frenchman Cyril Saulnier (7-6, 6-2). The Belarusian says that he will long remember beating the world's number two player. "You know it's the Tennis Masters Series, the end of the year, and we all want to do our best at such a big event. To have beaten him [Roddick] here it certainly is one of my better victories," he said.
Roddick says that he will regroup and be ready to go when the Tennis Masters Cup gets underway November 13. "I feel like I am in as good a shape as I have been in this year so far. I am going to feel fine. I mean, if I am not mistaken there are a bunch of other guys in the field who have not have that many matches going in. So I know that I am not alone," he said.
Tim Henman lost to Russian Mikhail Youzhny (7-5, 6-1). The Russian takes on Czech player Radek Stepanek, a straight-set winner over American Vince Spadea (6-2, 6-3).
Second seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia reached the quarterfinals when his opponent, 14th-seeded Nicolas Massu of Chile, retired with a hip injury. Hewitt takes on sixth-seeded Marat Safin of Russia a straight-set winner over Jurgen Melzer of Austria (6-2, 7-5).
Feliciano Lopez of Spain advanced with a three-set win over 11th-seed Andrei Pavel of Romania (5-7, 6-4, 6-4). Lopez meets 13th-seeded Guillermo Canas of Argentina in the quarterfinals. The Argentine player defeated Tommy Haas of Germany (7-6, 6-2).
The tournament is the last Masters Series event before the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, Texas later this month. The elite, eight-man Masters Cup offers a first prize of $700,000.