Fernando Vedasco’s thrilling three-set loss today to Gael Monfils set the upcoming London World Tour Finals field. Following the Spaniard’s defeat, the confirmed eight are Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick and David Ferrer.
Four of those eight players notched wins today in third round action at the Tennis Masters Paris.
“Well, I think it’s a goal at the beginning of every year,” said Roddick of his eighth straight qualification. “It’s certainly an accomplishment every year. It’s an honor to qualify once and each time you realize how tough it actually is. You can’t just play well for one week. It’s the culmination of doing it week after week on tour.”
The top-seeded Federer, who has never won the Paris Indoor title or even reached the final, cruised past Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3.
“He was serving good, he was accurate, he was coming in a lot, which I kind of expected,” said Federer who has now won 15 of his last 16 matches. “I just kind of felt it was gonna be a tough match to play. Thank God I already had a couple of really good return games and a good 10, 15 minutes which I was able to make a difference on, and then I could cruise home. I survived a scare early on when I was down break point and he was playing well, so it was a good match from my side.”
On Friday, in one quarterfinal Federer meets Austrian Jurgen Melzer who was a 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 victor over Ferrer.
The winner of that quarter will meet either Murray or Monfils who will do battle. Murray won another three setter this time over Marin Cilic while Monfils save two matchpoints to win 7-5 in the third over Verdasco.
“Tennis wise it wasn’t perfect, but I found the mental energy to stay into that match,” said Monfils. “I started believing that I could do something and win after a couple of rallies, and I was back again.”
Murray has beaten Monfils in three of four career meetings.
In the bottom half, Roddick and Soderling renew their rivalry after eac dropped the same number of games on Thursday. Roddick won over Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 7-6. Soderling toughed out Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6, 6-3.
Roddick and Soderling have split their four meetings, but Roddick has won both this season and each in three tight sets.
In what could be a preview of the upcoming Davis Cup final between France and Serbia, defending champion Djokovic was knocked out by the big-serving Michael Llodra 7-6, 6-2.
“In view of the Davis Cup, I don’t know,” said Llodra. “But I showed I was able to beat Djokovic. I showed I was reliable. Now, in Serbia, the match will be completely different with a different surface, but I was able to show our captain that he could count on me.
“But the Davis Cup will be a different competition. I don’t want to think too much about the Davis Cup right now, although I know that for many people I showed that I was applying for a selection to play the singles.
“But I want to go further in this tournament for the time being. I don’t want to stop here.”
Llodra now plays Nikolay Davydenko who beat a listless Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-6, 6-0.
ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER, 2010
CENTRAL COURT start 2:00 pm
 A Roddick (USA) vs  R Soderling (SWE)
 N Davydenko (RUS) vs M Llodra (FRA)
Not Before 7:30 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  J Melzer (AUT)
Not Before 8:30 PM
 A Murray (GBR) vs  G Monfils (FRA)
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