Russell advances at Farmers Classic

LOS ANGELES — Michael Russell beat top-seeded Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday night to advance to the Farmers Classic quarterfinals.

Russell, the 34-year-old former University of Miami player ranked 83rd in the world, has never won a singles title in ATP Tour play. Paire, a 23-year-old Frenchman, was slowed by an abdominal muscle strain.

There were nine service breaks in the first set, five by Russell, before Paire dumped a forehand into the net on the fourth set point. In the second set, Russell broke for a 4-3 lead, rallied from 15-40 down to hold for a 5-3 lead, and won on the fourth match point when Paire put a backhand return into the net.

Russell will face sixth-seeded Marinko Matosevic today at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Matosevic topped Tobias Kamke 6-3, 1-6, 6-0.

In other second-round matches, fourth-seeded Nicolas Mahut beat Paolo Lorenzi 7-5, 7-6 (7), fifth-seeded Xavier Malisse held off Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-3, and Ricardas Berankis beat Igor Andreev 6-4, 7-5.

Mahut will play Berankis, and Malisse will face second-seeded Sam Querrey, the 2009 and 2010 tournament winner who missed the event last year after undergoing surgery for a right shoulder injury.

In the other quarterfinal, third-seeded Leonardo Mayer will face Rajeev Ram. Querrey, Mayer and Ram advanced Wednesday.

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