French Success On Day 1
There was French success on Day 1 of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday as 15th seed Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy both booked second-round berths.
Simon was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Viktor Troicki, advancing in one hour and 46 minutes. The 31-year-old Frenchman saved six of the seven break points he faced, while breaking Troicki three times to beat the Serb for the sixth time in six meetings.
Simon reached the semi-finals of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament in 2012, losing to Rafael Nadal.
Chardy defeated Andrey Kuznetsov 7-6(3), 7-5 in one hour and 54 minutes in a match featuring nine breaks of serve. The 29-year-old Chardy bounced back from three opening round exits on the ATP World Tour, claiming his first victory since reaching the Delray Beach quarter-finals (l. to del Potro).
In the final round of qualifying, Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Stephane Robert enjoyed hard-fought wins. Herbert battled back to edge former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, while Robert finished strongly in a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 win over Monegasque Benjamin Balleret.
Jan-Lennard Struff set a first-round clash on Monday with Dominic Thiem as he defeated Hugo Nys 6-2, 6-3, while Miami giant-killer Damir Dzumhur, who stunned Nadal last month, qualified with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Thomas Fabbiano. Completing the main draw field are Filip Krajinovic and Taro Daniel.