Dimitrov eliminates Llodra in first round of Paris Masters
PARIS (AP) -- Richard Gasquet beat Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Tuesday in the second round of the Paris Masters to stay in the race for a World Tour Finals spot.
The ninth-seeded Frenchman converted his fifth match point when Verdasco sent a backhand long.
Verdasco hit two service winners to save two match points at 6-5 in the second set. The Spaniard then erased seven break points in the final set before dropping serve at 3-all with a wide forehand.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych have already qualified for the tournament in London next week. There are still three spots up for grabs as Andy Murray withdrew from the season-ending event to recover from back surgery.
In first-round matches, Grigor Dimitrov rallied past two-time semifinalist Michael Llodra 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, and Spanish lucky loser Pablo Andujar overcame Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Dimitrov broke for 4-2 in the final set and hit a forehand volley winner on match point. He became the first Bulgarian to win a title on the ATP Tour at the Stockholm Open earlier this month.
Andujar replaced Gael Monfils in the main draw after the Frenchman pulled out because of a left wrist injury.
Marcel Granollers, Ivan Dodig, wild card Nicolas Mahut and qualifier Michal Przysiezny also moved into the second round.
Granollers will face top-seeded Rafael Nadal after his 6-4, 6-4 victory over Dmitry Tursunov. Meanwhile, Dodig beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (6), 6-4, Przysiezny defeated Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 7-6 (6), and Mahut downed Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (6), 6-1.
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