PARIS (AP) — Andy Roddick moved closer to qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals by beating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-3, 7-6 (8) to reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals on Thursday.
Roddick’s win put Jurgen Melzer out of contention in the race for the elite year-end tournament in London later this month.
Melzer, who’ll play David Ferrer later Thursday, needed to win in Paris and have Roddick lose in the third round to have a chance to qualify.
Only the top eight players make the ATP Finals from Nov. 21-28, with No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling having already secured their spots.
Roddick is eighth in the rankings and will be guaranteed a spot unless Fernando Verdasco reaches the final in Paris.
Roddick broke Gulbis in the second game of the first set after the Latvian sent a forehand wide, and relied on his strong serve throughout as he saved the single break point he faced with a backhand volley at 4-2.
Both players held serve in the second until the tiebreaker, where Gulbis saved three match points before Roddick moved up 9-8 after retrieving a drop shot, with the American sealing his win when Gulbis buried a backhand in the net.
Roddick, who has reached the semifinals twice at the Palais Omnisports, will next play either No. 4 Robin Soderling or Stanislas Wawrinka.