Gonzalez, Canas advance at Masters Series Madrid

Oct 17, 2007 - 12:18 PM MADRID, Spain (Ticker) -- Fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile punched his ticket to the third round on Wednesday at the $3 million Masters Series Madrid.

Gonzalez, the world No. 6, battled through a first set tiebreaker before slamming the door on Spain's Nicolas Almagro in straight sets, 7-6 (13-11), 7-5 to advance to the round of 32.

Gonzalez, who is looking for his second title of the year after winning the championship at Beijing in September, will next face Argentina's Juan Monaco in the next round. Monaco upset the 11th seed German Tommy Haas 6-4, 7-5 in their second round match to advance.

Argentina's Guillermo Canas, the 13th seed, also advanced to the third round on Wednesday, beating fellow countryman qualifier Agustin Calleri 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Canas, who is 14th in the world rankings, has appeared in the final three times this year, taking the championship at Costa Do Sauipe in the years first tournament in January. The 29-year-old lost in the final at the Master Series Miami to Novak Djokovic before falling short to Rafael Nadal at Barcelona in his very next event.

Nadal returns to action later on Wednesday when he takes on Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in his first match of the tournament after all 16 seeded players received byes in the first round.

The world's second-ranked player, Nadal has not played since the U.S. Open - where he was ousted by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the round of 16.

Seeded second in this event, Nadal won here in 2005 but was upset by Tomas Berdych in last year's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic, who has emerged as the clear-cut world No. 3 this year, will face Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in his opening match in the second round on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Djokovic enters this event riding high after capturing his fifth title of the season last week at Vienna.

Djokovic reached the final at the U.S. Open three weeks after defeating world No. 1 Roger Federer and Nadal en route to the title at the Masters Series Montreal event. The third-seeded Serb was defeated by Gonzalez in the quarters here last year.

Eight other seeded players will take to the hard courts on Thursday - including sixth-seeded American James Blake, No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain and countryman, eighth-seeded Tommy Roberdo as well as No. 9 Czech Tomas Berdych and 10th seeded Richard Gasquet of France.

First prize is $480,000.






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