Top seed Agassi books last eight berth


MONTREAL: Karol Kucera sent French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero crashing out of the Montreal Masters in the third round on Thursday as Andy Roddick advanced with a convincing win over Sebastien Grosjean. 

Earlier, top seed and world number one Andre Agassi booked his place in the last eight with a 6-4, 6-2 win over local hope Simon Larose. 

Kucera started strongly as he battled out a 6-3 7-5 victory over the second seeded Spaniard whose nickname is 'the Mosquito' after overcoming a 4-1 deficit in the second set. 

The Slovakian world number 41 next plays American Roddick after the sixth seed eased to a 6-3, 6-3 win over his French opponent. 

“I played so badly ... it has to rank as one of my worst ever matches,” a disappointed Ferrero said. 

Kucera, who battled past hard-serving Martin Verkerk in the previous round, knows that a tough challenge lies ahead against the power game of the 20-year-old Roddick. 

“Roddick is a strong player from the baseline, especially on the forehand, so it's definitively going to be tougher,” Kucera said. 

Roddick breezed past ninth seed Grosjean, blasting down several aces whenever the Frenchman came close to breaking his serve. 

“It could have gone either way tonight because I was down love-40 a couple of times on my serve and then I hit a couple little dinky passing shots to break him a couple of times,” Roddick said. 

“It was probably a lot tougher than the scoreline indicates.” 

In the same half of the draw, Wimbledon champion Roger Federer cruised past Spain's Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3, setting up a quarter-final match against doubles partner Max Mirnyi. 

World number 32 Mirnyi of Belarus easily disposed of Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan 6-3, 6-2 as he continued to display the form that led him past world number five Lleyton Hewitt a day earlier. 

Agassi said he felt in top shape heading into the US Open in less than three weeks, where he will try to add a ninth Grand Slam title to his impressive record. 

“Today was a big step forward for me. I felt pretty comfortable in all aspects of my game,” the American said. 

Agassi lines up against eighth seed Rainer Schuettler in the quarter-finals, after the German destroyed tenth seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-0. – Reuters  

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