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Roddick the new world No. 1

Paris: American Andy Roddick took over as world No. 1 on Thursday after reaching the quarter finals of the Paris Masters.

The US Open champion is the 22nd player to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1973 and the sixth American-born player after Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

Roddick beat Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4 in the last 16 to topple Juan Carlos Ferrero from the top spot.

Roddick’s elevation to the summit followed Ferrero’s shock 7-5, 7-5 defeat by Czech Jiri Novak earlier on Thursday.

The American now leads the Champions Race and will be confirmed as No. 1 in the 12-month Entry System rankings next Monday.

Roddick’s serve was too much for Robredo, seeded 16th, to handle as the 21-year-old’s bullet deliveries repeatedly slammed into the backboards on the centre court in Paris.

The second seed kept the pressure on by hurrying through his serves and broke Robredo’s delivery in the fourth game of the first set and the third of the second.

Despite his achievement, Roddick said reaching No. 1 was not as important to him as winning in Paris and Houston. “Every match win or lose could be the difference,” said Roddick, who will next play Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

On Wednesday, Mark Philippoussis was beaten 7-6, 6-7, 6-7 by Gustavo Kuerten in the second round while Sebastien Grosjean bowed out to Tim Henman 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Roger Federer eased into the last 16 by beating Thierry Ascione 7-6, 6-1. (Agencies)

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