BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR BALL
Paradorn dismisses Argie Chela
n The Nation
Paradorn Srichaphan upset ninth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina to book a quarter-final spot in the Davidoff Swiss Indoor in Basel yesterday.
The 54th ranked Paradorn took the first set 6-4 in 44 minutes before wrapping up the second 6-3 in 34 minutes to reach his seventh quarter-final of the year.
The Thai extended his head-to-head record over the 35th-ranked opponent to 2-1, winning their first meet in Long Island four years ago but losing the second in the 2004 Master Series in Monte Carlo.
Paradorn had several opportunities to break in the first set but never converted any of them until the 10th game. After missing two set points at 5-4, the Thai capitalised on his third chance to land the opening set in which he hit 25 winners to 14 from Ignacio Chela.
In the second set, Paradorn secured only one break early in the second game but it was enough to send him through. He fired four aces and six backhand winners in this set.
He will play seventh-seeded Jose Acasuso of Argentina, who was briefly tested by German Philipp Kohlschreiber before prevailing 7-6 6-1. Paradorn and Acasuso have met three times with the Thai winning all, including the latest in the US Open first round in August. The Thai won that tough five setter 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3.
Meanwhile, Fernando Gonzalez continued his desperate push for place in the Masters Cup, squeezing through a pair of tie-breakers to post a win over Mardy Fish 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (10-8).
Gonzalez trails ninth in the battle for the final four places in the eight-man field for the season wrap-up event in China next month.
He next plays the winner from Argentine teenager Juan del Potro and Swiss George Bastl in the quarter-finals.
"I have to do well here and next week in Paris," said Gonzalez, losing finalist indoors in Vienna and Madrid this month.
Gonzalez, the defending champion, needed to get through two previous deciders in his opening-round victory.
Gonzalez, 11-2 in Basel, trails No 8 Tommy Robredo by 33 points in the season race with the Spaniard unable to add to his total after a first-round loss in Russia this week.
Meanwhile in Lyon, France, seventh-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium beat Julien Benneteau of France 6-2 7-6 (5) yesterday in the second round of the Lyon Grand Prix.
Malisse reached his seventh quarter-final of the season. He has played two finals this year and lost both, at Adelaide and Delray Beach.
Malisse was joined in the quarter-finals by Robby Ginepri of the United States, who beat Simon Greul 6-1 6-2.
Ginepri improved to 22-24 for the season, and reached his second straight quarter-final - following on from the Madrid Masters, where he lost to top-ranked Roger Federer.
Meanwhile, foot injuries cost the St Petersburg Open in Russia three seeded players on Wednesday, including No 1 Nikolay Davydenko and No 5 Jarkko Nieminen.
Former champion and seventh-seeded Mikhail Youzhny also withdrew after spraining his Achilles tendon in a doubles match with Nenad Zimonjic tendon while leading Wayne Arthurs and James Auckland 6-3 3-4. Youzhny was to play his second-round singles match against Thomas Johansson yesterday.
Davydenko retired from his second-round match against Weslie Moodie while leading 6-2 3-3.
"I felt some pain in my right foot at 4-2 in the first set," Davydenko said. "But I thought it was just a pain shock and kept on playing."
Davydenko was to serve at 2-3 in the second when he called for a trainer to have his foot treated.
Nieminen retired with a foot injury while trailing Potito Starace of Italy 7-5 3-2.