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Del Porto, Monfils progress

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:07

Del Potro, the ninth seed and one of the tour’s form horses of late, was in ruthless mood as he knocked out Croatia’s Mario Ancic 6-0 6-4 in the French capital.

He faces either Nicolas Kiefer or eighth seed David Nalbandian next.

The Argentinian has broken into the world’s top 10 after winning four titles this year and is seventh in the ATP points race, so a good showing at Bercy should secure his place in the Shanghai showpiece next month.

Ancic paid the price for his 27 unforced errors on Centre Court, with Del Potro making just seven.

Earlier, 16th seed Monfils overcame a slow start to defeat Juan Monaco 6-4 6-4 and will more than likely take on world number one Rafael Nadal next.

The Frenchman, who needs a benign set of results this week if he is to make up enough race points to qualify for China, was broken in his first service game in the first set but recovered to oust Monaco, a first-round winner against Marat Safin on Monday.

Top seed Nadal will secure a date with Monfils should the Spaniard beat Florent Serra, who defeated Guillermo Canas in three sets in the first round on Tuesday.

On a possible meeting with Nadal, Monfils said: “I will have to change my game against him because I think he likes my type of game. But I have an idea how I’m going to play him. I know him a bit.”

In other first-round matches on Tuesday, there were wins for Robin Soderling, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Ivan Ljubicic.

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