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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin Stays on Course for Fourth Paris Title

APSafin playing in Paris on Tuesday.
PARIS -- Marat Safin produced a combative display to knock out Swede Robin Soderling 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match Tuesday and stay on course for a fourth Paris Masters crown.

On a good day for Russian tennis, world No. 5 Nikolai Davydenko, the fourth seed and the highest-ranked player left in the draw after a string of high-profile withdrawals, humiliated Belgian lucky loser Christophe Rochus 6-0, 6-0 in just 35 minutes.

The gifted but erratic Safin, who has won the indoor event every other year since 2000, with triumphs in 2000, 2002 and 2004, lost the first set and was a break down in the second.

The former world No. 1, however, thrilled the Paris crowd by recovering to move past Soderling, seeded 18th in the last regular men's tournament before the year-end Masters Cup in Shanghai.

A raging forehand volley earned Safin a first match point, which he converted with a service winner to seal victory in just under two hours.

"It's probably one of my biggest wins of the year because he's such a great player," Safin said.

"I saw him almost beat Roger [Federer] in Madrid. To me, he's a top-class player. To beat him on this surface, on his surface, I think it's pretty big.

"I feel more comfortable here than anywhere else and that probably made a huge difference today."

Safin will now meet either local favorite Richard Gasquet, who beat him last week in Lyon, or Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.

Spain's David Ferrer, seeded 11th but more at ease on clay than on fast indoor surfaces, bowed out by losing 6-3, 6-4 to American Robby Ginepri.

Ginepri next meets Czech Tomas Berdych, the defending champion, or Belgian Olivier Rochus.

Dmitry Tursunov, seeded 15th, was leading 6-3, 5-4 when Spain's Nicolas Almagro pulled out because of a torn thigh muscle. Tursunov will now challenge Davydenko in an all-Russian third round tie.

Juan Ignacio Chela earned a meeting with Briton Andy Murray by moving past Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan.

The Argentine was leading their first-round match 6-3, 3-0 when Paradorn was forced to withdraw because of a sore ear.