Djokovic claims win on Tour return
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:19
The Frenchman pushed Djokovic all the way with the top seed claiming the only break of the match in the second set.
It was the Serbian’s first match since he succumbed to the heat in his Australian Open quarter-final against Andy Roddick last month.
Third seed Gael Monfils was the major casualty of the first round, the 22-year-old losing an all-French battle with Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Monfils took the first set but Mathieu hit back impressively to triumph 4-6 6-4 7-5.
Another Frenchman through to the second round is fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.
Michael Llodra sealed a meeting with Mathieu thanks to a 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 win over South African lucky loser Rik de Voest but Marc Gicquel could not make it a full house of home victories.
The 31-year-old, who retired from his quarter-final against Andy Murray in Rotterdam last week with a thigh injury, went down 6-4 6-3 to Switzerland’s George Bastl.
In the second round, eighth seed Feliciano Lopez reached the quarter-finals courtesy of two tie-break triumphs over Dmitry Tursunov, the Spaniard winning 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/1).
Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny is also through to the last eight after a 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 victory over Andreas Seppi while Germany’s Mischa Zverev defeated Arnaud Clement of France 6-4 5-7 6-2 in the day’s final match.