Metz, France (Sports Network) - Playing his first tennis since May, oft-
injured Gael Monfils pleased the French faithful Tuesday with a first-round
victory at the Moselle Open tennis event.
The seventh-seeded former top-10 star handled diminutive Belgian Olivier
Rochus 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes on the indoor hardcourts at Metz Expo Parc. The
athletic Frenchman Monfils clubbed 21 aces and was broken only once on Day
Monfils, who was sidelined for four months because of a knee injury, captured
the title in Metz in 2009 and was the runner-up here in 2005.
Meanwhile, eighth-seeded former top-10 Russian Nikolay Davydenko joined
Monfils in the round of 16 with a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 decision
against German qualifier Mischa Zverev, the 2010 Metz runner-up.
Also on Tuesday, French qualifier Vincent Millot beat Dutchman Igor Sijsling
6-4, 6-4; another French qualifier, Clement Reix, snuck past compatriot
Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic downed
French qualifier Kenny De Schepper 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3); and France's Benoit
Paire dismissed Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-1, 6-4.
This week's top seed is also the defending champion. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
defeated former titlist Ivan Ljubicic in last year's Metz finale. A Frenchman
has captured the last three Moselle Open titles (Tsonga, Gilles Simon and
Tsonga will open his 2012 Metz stay against Reix on Wednesday.
The Sports Network