Muller Drops Massu From Field

August 3, 2005 08:58 PM
Gilles Muller will face Arnaud Clement of France next.
Gilles Muller defeated ninth-seeded Nicolas Massu 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the second round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on Wednesday.

Muller, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in last year's championship match here, will face Arnaud Clement of France in the third round of the U.S. Open series event.

Clement edged Richard Bloomfield of Britain 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7).

The match was the first on the ATP Tour for Bloomfield, who was making his debut outside of Wimbledon. He battled Clement for 2 hours, 14 minutes before falling to the veteran of 407 matches.

Clement and Muller, from Luxembourg, have faced each other twice previously, with Clement winning both matches last year. But Muller, who evened his record at 17-17 this year with Wednesday's victory, said he is approaching Thursday's contest with more confidence.

"I have a lot of respect for him, but now is a different time,'' said Muller, who advanced to the final of last week's Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles before falling to Andre Agassi. "I've improved a lot, and I know I can beat him. I'm not scared of him.''

In other second-round play, Robby Ginepri defeated 12th-seeded Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4; Bobby Reynolds defeated 15th-seeded Ricardo Mello of Brazil 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; eighth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean of France beat Alexander Popp of Germany 6-2, 6-3; and Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina defeated Brian Baker 6-3, 6-3.

Ginepri's victory was his 10th in his past 11 matches after he won just 10-of-24 contests to begin the season.

Unseeded James Blake, the 2002 tournament champion, played later Wednesday night.