Federer mauls Gasquet, Murray labours to victory

Paris: Roger Federer produced his `A Game` on Wednesday while Andy Murray had to switch to `Plan B` on the super-fast indoor court to reach the third round of the Paris Masters.

Federer stepped up his bid to win the Paris tournament for the first time by sending down a barrage of winners in a 6-4, 6-4 hammering of Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

While Federer was booking a date with Czech Radek Stepanek in double quick time, Murray struggled to find his groove against Argentine David Nalbandian in the Bercy arena.

Unable to dent Nalbandian`s game, the Briton eventually switched tactics and his decision to serve and volley paid off as he came from a set down to sink the former champion 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

"I haven`t played on a quicker court since I`ve been on the tour," Murray told reporters. "I was struggling to control the ball, and then changed the tension on my rackets ... and felt a lot more comfortable."

Nalbandian visibly tired after having his serve broken at the end of the second set.

At 2-2 in the third the Briton called for the trainer to massage his right wrist and that galvanised him to take four of the last five games.

"I think I should be okay for the rest of the tournament," the Scot said. "I managed to finish the match and normally, if your wrist injury is bad you can`t."

Murray next plays 13th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic who beat Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Serbian second seed Novak Djokovic was also in trouble early on against Argentine Juan Monaco before recovering to win 6-4, 6-3.

"It`s a very fast court ... a lot more different than last year and it`s quite a change that you have to adjust to," said defending champion Djokovic.

Djokovic`s next test will be against Frenchman Michael Llodra, who he could face in the Davis Cup final later this year.

Llodra, who is contention with Gasquet, Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils for singles spots in Belgrade, comfortably dispatched 16th seed John Isner 6-3, 6-4.

World number eight Andy Roddick breezed past Finnish qualifier Jarkko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4. He next takes on Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

The big-hitting American is trying to qualify for this month`s ATP Tour Finals in London and holds the last remaining spot ahead of Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

"Every match I win is significant at this point ... it puts pressure on the guys behind me," said Roddick.

Roddick fired nine aces as his serve and volley game prevailed on the quick surface.

Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer and 11th seed Juergen Melzer, who are still in the race to qualify for the ATP finals, both progressed and will now meet in the next round.

Bureau Report

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