Haas Beats Ljubicic at Paris Masters
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PARIS (AP) _ Tommy Haas kept alive his hopes for a place in the year-end Masters Cup, defeating Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.
Fresh from winning his fourth title of the season in Stuttgart last week, the seventh-seeded German drew on a strong serve and aggressive net play.
Tenth-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland fell 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2) to Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic; Albert Costa of Spain eliminated 14th-seeded Guillermo Canas of Argentina 7-6 (1), 6-4; and 11th-seeded Arnaud Clement of France lost to Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).
Haas is just seven points behind Tim Henman in the ATP Champions Race. He needs to go at least one round further in Paris than the eighth-seeded Briton to stand a chance of qualifying for the Nov. 12-18 Masters Cup in Sydney.
``All of a sudden the race is going to be very tight,″ Haas said. ``If I give it my best shot then I’m happy.″
Paris will settle the remaining two berths in the elite eight-player event in Sydney.
Clement has struggled since losing to Andre Agassi in the final of the Australian Open last January. And Malisse provided more problems.
``He was reading my attacks very well,″ Clement said. ``I couldn’t overrun him.″
He said he needed to unwind after the tough match.
``I brought my bike here, it’s at the front desk,″ he said. ``I’m going to use it to relax.″