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Roddick Serves Up Quarterfinal Spot; Tsonga, Simon Win

Lyon, France

Andy Roddick© SportissimoAndy Roddick Reaches For A Ball

Top seeded American and 2005 champion Andy Roddick (pictured) fired 26 aces past compatriot Robby Ginepri as he served up a 7-6(5), 7-6(3) victory on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon. The 6’2’’ right-hander has fired 822 aces in 58 matches this season and trails only Ivo Karlovic (949) in the Ricoh ATP Match Facts.

The 26-year-old Roddick is bidding to qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup for a sixth time (injured in 2005) and began the week at No. 6 in the ATP 2008 Race with 369 points. There are just three places remaining for the circuit final, which takes place in Shanghai beginning November 11.

The Texas resident improved to a 47-15 match record on the year, highlighted by winning three titles in San Jose (d. Stepanek), Dubai (d. Lopez) and Beijing (d. Sela). He captured the Lyon title in 2005 with victory over Gael Monfils.

In the quarterfinals he will face Swedish seventh seed Robin Soderling, who himself fired 20 aces as he knocked out Belgian qualifier Christophe Rochus 6-1, 6-2 to reach the Lyon quarterfinals for the third straight year. He lifted the trophy on his debut appearance in 2004, prevailing over Xavier Malisse in the final.

No. 3 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fired 16 aces and outlasted countryman Fabrice Santoro 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in one hour and 52 minutes. Tsonga converted three of four break points and saved four of five break points on his serve en route to his fourth quarterfinal of the season.

Tsonga will take on Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, who beat No. 8 seed and 2002 Lyon champion Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-1, in 58 minutes. Ferrero only lost seven points on serve (33 of 40) and converted four of seven break points while never facing break point.

Tennis Masters Cup qualification contender Gilles Simon, the fourth seed and top Frenchman, secured his quarterfinal place with a 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi. The 23-year-old, who came into Lyon No. 9 in the ATP 2008 Race, six points behind No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro, could move into the 8th position if he wins his quarterfinal against French wild card Josselin Ouanna. Del Potro is now No. 7, ahead of David Ferrer. Simon has captured a career-high three ATP titles this season and last week reached his first ATP Masters Series final in Madrid (l. to Murray).

Belgian Steve Darcis upset the home fans as he ended the campaign of second seed and 2006 champion Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5). World No. 58 Darcis is through to his third ATP quarterfinal of the season. He captured his second ATP title at Memphis (d. Soderling) and finished runner-up in his Amersfoort title defense in July (l. to Montanes). He improved to a 21-22 match record on the season. Darcis will meet Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the quarterfinals.

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