Berdych, Verdasco, Monfils advance

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, Last Updated: 6:09 PM ET

PARIS -- Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, sixth- seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and 2009 runner-up Gael Monfils were a trio of second-round winners Tuesday at the Paris Masters, the final ATP Masters event of the year.

The fifth-seeded 2005 Paris Masters champion Berdych blitzed French wild card Florent Serra 6-3, 6-1 on the indoor hardcourts at Palais Omnisports.

Meanwhile, Verdasco held off wild card and veteran French crowd favorite Arnaud Clement 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 and a 12th-seeded Monfils topped German qualifier Benjamin Becker 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Verdasco and Monfils will meet in a third- rounder here on Thursday.

Monfils lost to 2010 U.S. Open runner-up Novak Djokovic in last year's Paris Masters finale.

In some other second-round action, capable Latvian Ernests Gulbis upended ninth-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 3-0, retired and Czech veteran Radek Stepanek stifled 14th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. Youzhny quit with a back injury against Gulbis. Stepanek was a finalist here back in 2004.

The first round concluded with five matches on Day 3, as former world No. 3 Argentine David Nalbandian leveled Spaniard Marcel Granollers, a runner-up in Valencia last week, 6-3, 6-1, French favorite Gilles Simon overcame Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, and Argentine Juan Monaco drove out American Sam Querrey 7-6 (9-7), 6-2. Monaco is rewarded with a second-round match against the reigning Paris Masters titlist Djokovic, this week's second seed, while the 2007 Paris Masters champion and 2008 runner-up Nalbandian will encounter third-seeded Aussie Open runner-up Andy Murray and Simon will face fourth-seeded French Open runner-up Robin Soderling on Wednesday.

Additional opening-round wins came for Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky and Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

Also on Wednesday, top-seeded former world No. 1 Roger Federer will open his week against nifty Frenchman Richard Gasquet and eighth-seeded American slugger Andy Roddick will be opposed by Finn Jarkko Nieminen. The Aussie Open champion and Swiss icon Federer beat Djokovic in last week's marquee finale in Federer's hometown of Basel.


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