Herbert Battles Through Qualifying Opener
French hope Pierre-Hugues Herbert fought for two hours and 29 minutes on Saturday before edging countryman Kenny De Schepper 6-7(8), 6-3, 7-6(5) in the first round of qualifying for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
The 25-year-old Herbert is coming off a very successful March, which saw him win back-to-back doubles titles in Indian Wells and Miami with Nicolas Mahut. The right-hander is bidding to make his main draw debut at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
There was more French success in the first round of qualifying as Stephane Robert battled past Mikhail Kukushkin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in just over two hours.
There were mixed fortunes for Monegasque wild cards. Benjamin Balleret, who reached the third round in 2006, moved one step closer to a seventh main draw appearance as he upset Thiemo de Bakker 6-4, 7-5. Meanwhile, Romain Arneodo was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Santiago Giraldo.
Marcel Granollers opened his qualifying bid with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Daniil Medvedev and was joined in the final round by fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who dismissed Farrukh Dustov 6-1, 6-2.
Former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny cruised through his opener with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Daniel Brands. Elsewhere, Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Adrian Ungur 6-3, 7-6(6).