Goffin, Simon Make Confident Starts
Tenth seed David Goffin left no room for sentiment on Sunday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters when he overcame fellow Belgian Steve Darcis 6-2, 6-1 in 72 minutes. Goffin, who also beat his compatriot at the Garanti Koza Sofia Open in February, lost just three of his second service points (18/21) for his 20th match win of the season.
“I played well from the start,” said Goffin, who will next play Nicolas Almagro or a qualifier. “We had long rallies [and] I was solid. I made him run a lot. I was playing very well tactically. I was playing the right way. I was able to protect my serve with my second serve. I was very solid. I’m very happy with that. It’s never easy to play against a friend. Lately I’ve been playing those matches pretty well. They are special matches.”
Former World No. 6 Gilles Simon, who advanced to the 2012 semi-finals (l. to Nadal), broke a two-match losing streak in beating Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-2 in 81 minutes. “It was not perfect, but it was still solid,” said Simon. “I will take this as it is.”
He will now challenge second seed Novak Djokovic, the 2013 and 2015 champion, in the second round. Djokovic leads Simon 10-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Elsewhere, Joao Sousa hit six aces past Florian Mayer in a 6-3, 6-2 win and now awaits the result of No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas or Viktor Troicki.
Adrian Mannarino, Jan-Lennard Struff, Martin Klizan, Carlos Berlocq, Andrey Kuznetsov, Renzo Olivo and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez all qualified on Sunday for the main draw of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.
Fognini/Wawrinka Advance To Doubles Second Round
Fabio Fognini and Stan Wawrinka joined forces to oust the experience Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-4, 7-6(2) in 79 minutes in the final match of the day. Wawrinka is one of four singles players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings competing in the doubles draw (also Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem). Mirnyi (2003, 2006) and Nestor (2009-2010) are former doubles champions.