Gasquet, Raonic advance to 2nd round at Monte Carlo
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 12, 2016 10:09 AM
File Photo - 10th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada moved into the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer
MONACO (AP) — Richard Gasquet converted all six of his break points as he beat Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-0 on Monday, and Milos Raonic had 13 aces in a 6-3, 7-5 win against wild card Marco Cecchinato in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Raonic broke in the 11th game of the second set and quickly moved 40-0 up as he served for the match. Cecchinato saved two match points before the Italian sent a high backhand wide on the next point.
"I let myself fall into a little bit too much of a defensive pattern where I was playing a little too far back," Raonic said. "It didn't allow me to use my game to dictate. I was a little bit more reactive rather than proactive."
Although his big-serving game is more effective on quicker surfaces, the 10th-seeded Canadian thinks the slower clay still suits his game.
"It gives me time," said Raonic, who lost to Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals here two years ago. "It allows me to stay ahead if you treat it the right way."
Raonic will play either Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
No. 12 Dominic Thiem of Austria overcame a difficult first set, where he dropped his serve twice, to beat qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Gael Monfils, a semifinalist last year and seeded 13th, also advanced, beating Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-5, 6-0.
Monfils took all five of his break-point chances against Muller, as both he and Gasquet were watched by former French Open champion Yannick Noah — who is now France's Davis Cup captain.
"It's good that he's here, that he comes and sees the players," said the ninth-seeded Gasquet, who next faces countryman Lucas Pouille.
No. 16 Benoit Paire of France rallied to beat Spaniard Inigo Cervantes 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6); Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 7-6 (4) in an all-Spanish match and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov beat qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-2.
British player Aljaz Bedene had eight aces in a 6-2, 6-3 win against Czech Lukas Rosol and next faces fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain, who won the last of his eight straight titles here in 2012.
Alexander Zverev eased past Russian Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-3 in a match of two 18-year-olds and he next plays No. 7 David Ferrer, the 2011 runner-up.
There were also wins for Spaniards Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta and Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 Roger Federer are in second-round action on Tuesday.
Murray faces Herbert and Federer, who is returning from more than two months out following surgery on his left knee, takes on Garcia-Lopez.
With play finishing somewhat early, Federer went out on center court for around 40 minutes to practice with Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic begins his title defense on Wednesday against either Gabashvili or Czech Jiri Vesely, who play on Tuesday.