Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia moved closer to qualifying for next month’s eight-man ATP World Tour Finals by beating Benjamin Becker of Germany 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.
Davydenko, who broke his opponent five times and saved the four break points he faced, is one of the seven players who can still qualify for the season-ending event in London. Fernando Verdasco, Robin Soderling, Fernando Gonzalez, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Radek Stepanek and Marin Cilic are also in the running.
The 28-year-old Davydenko, who won the Paris Masters in 2006, needs to reach the semifinals to secure one of the two remaining spots.
The Russian said he didn’t feel under more pressure going into this week.
“There are three guys who need to win this tournament to qualify,” said Davydenko, who has won four titles this season. “It won’t be easy for the likes of Tsonga, Soderling or Verdasco and it makes me feel good.”
Davydenko won 71 percent of points on serve and had five aces. He will next face either Soderling or Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.
Nicola Almagro of Spain defeated Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4 to advance to a second-round match against second-seeded Rafael Nadal.
Tsonga was to play Albert Montanes of Spain later Tuesday. The Frenchman, who retired in the first round of the Valencia Open last week with a wrist injury, must defend his title in Paris without facing Verdasco in the final to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals.