Roddick sees off Gulbis in Paris, closes in on ATP finals

Paris : Andy Roddick took a big step towards the season-ending ATP finals when he beat Latvia`s Ernests Gulbis 6-3 7-6 to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday.

The result meant that Austrian Juergen Melzer, who could only have booked a place in the London showdown if he won the title and Roddick failed to progress beyond the third round, is out of the race.

Only Spain`s Fernando Verdasco still has an outside chance of denying eight-seed Roddick his place in London.

Roddick got off to a flying start, opening a 2-0 lead and comfortably holding serve to bag the first set.

Gulbis proved more consistent in the second set but bowed out when he netted a routine forehand to lose the tiebreak 10-8 after saving three match points.

Roddick next faces either Swede Robin Soderling, the fourth seed, or Switzerland`s Stanislas Wawrinka.

Bureau Report