Benneteau upsets Robredo, Soderling, Simon march on - [Sports news]
PARIS, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Frenchman Julien Benneteau reached the quarterfinals at the Lyon Grand Prix for the second straight season after upsetting fifth-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-2 in the second round on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Robredo, who began the week at No. 18 in the ATP 2008 Race, dropped to a 35-22 match record on the season.
Swedish seventh seed Robin Soderling made a strong start to his campaign, converting four of 11 break points and only surrendering eight points on serve as he dismissed French qualifier Thierry Ascione 6-4, 6-1.
The 24-year-old Soderling captured the Lyon title in 2004, with victory over Xavier Malisse in the final, and has an 8-1 event record.
In the second round he will face Belgian qualifier Christophe Rochus, who stared down 20 aces from Gilles Muller before beating the Luxembourg native 6-2, 6-4 to record his first win on the ATP circuit since reaching the Amersfoort quarterfinals in July.
Fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon booked his spot in the second round with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Argentina's Juan Monaco. The 23 year old is in strong contention for one of the three remaining berths at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai after rising to No. 9 in the ATP 2008 Race courtesy of a run to his first ATP Masters Series final in Madrid last week. The Nice native has also titled three times this season.
World No. 56 Benneteau, who knocked out the 2000 champion Arnaud Clement in the first round, improved to a 7-6 event record. The Geneva, Switzerland resident reached his maiden ATP singles final at Casablanca in May.
Paul-Henri Mathieu, the eighth seed from France, enjoyed similarly smooth progress through to the second round as he knocked out Argentina's Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-4.
World No. 33 Mathieu captured the Lyon title in 2002, the same year that saw him triumph as a qualifier in Moscow and, at Long Island, became the last player to defeat 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras. He next faces Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero.
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