Mathieu Leads French Trio Through
Former World No. 12 Paul-Henri Mathieu led three Frenchmen through the first round of qualifying for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Mathieu battled past fellow veteran, Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes, setting a clash with Andrey Kuznetsov, who finished strongly to beat Filippo Volandri 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1.
Benoit Paire and Edouard Roger-Vasselin joined Mathieu in the final round of qualifying. Paire defeated Niels Desein 6-4, 7-6(6), while Roger-Vasselin dismissed Blaz Rola 6-3, 6-1. Paire earned a clash with Thiemo de Bakker, while Roger-Vasselin will face Jan-Lennard Struff.
A pair of Spaniards also advanced. Albert Montanes defeated Monegasque Lucas Catarina 6-1, 6-3, setting a meeting with Diego Schwartzman, while Albert Ramos-Vinolas beat France’s David Guez 6-4, 6-2, earning a final-round contest with Robin Haase.