MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 16 (UPI) -- American Vince Spadea joined the Spanish elite in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters Wednesday as seeded players continued to fall.
Spadea, a Florida native, is the only remaining American after posting a 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-2 victory over Arnaud Clement of France.
"I'm glad I'm showing that American players are capable of competing and playing well on clay," said the 28-year-old who reached the semifinals at last month's Masters in Indian Wells. "I happen to be playing very solid this week and I've gotten the breaks so far."
Spadea last appeared on center court at the dramatic seaside venue in 1999, when he lost to Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten in the quarterfinals.
Kuerten, a two-time winner here, was one of Wednesday's upset victims. Swede Magnus Norman earned revenge for a 2000 loss in the French Open final to the 10th-seeded Kuerten by recording a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win.
Both Norman and Kuerten have undergone hip surgery in the past few years, with former world No. 2 Norman also facing a knee operation last autumn which delayed his comeback even more.
Norman improved to 5-4 here after not having been beyond the second round in four previous attempts.
"I don't know how I did it," admitted Norman. "That's the great thing about tennis, the only thing I knew for sure was that I would fight until the last point."
Kuerten has more work to do.
"I'm very disappointed to have missed an opportunity like this," he said. "It was a nightmare from 5-2 in the second set. I started to miss a couple of shots and lost concentration. I was trying for too much."
The top two seeds managed to avoid upsets.
No. 1 and defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain overcame early resistance from veteran countryman Felix Mantilla and emerged with a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 win.
Ferrero is playing in his first ATP event of the spring clay campaign after skipping last week's Estoril Open with an ankle injury.
Second-seeded Spaniard Carlos Moya, the 2002 Cincinnati Masters winner who lost to Ferrero in the final here last year, took control early and ousted South African Wayne Ferreira, 6-4, 6-4. Spaniard Tommy Robredo, seeded 16th, beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau, 6-2, 6-2.
Moya missed on a match point and then double-faulted to go break point down. But the 26-year-old saved it and eventually moved onto victory over his 31-year-old opponent.
Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela knocked out fifth seed Jiri Novak, 6-4, 6-2, while Italian Filippo Volandri defeated sixth-seeded Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian of Argentina, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
Argentine Guillermo Coria knocked out 15th seed James Blake 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, leaving Spadea as the lone American.
"I'm happy I fought back and showed that I can play with one of the best claycourt players in the world," Blake said. "I'm frustrated I lost, I thought I could have won it."