Spaniard Albert Montanes booked his place in the second round of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters as he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets 6-2 3-6 6-3.
Raonic struggled with his serve from the very beginning of the match, Montanes getting the early break. The Spaniard managed to consolidate and chasing every ball down, he outplayed the Canadian and took a 1-0 set lead.
The second set started in a very similar fashion as the first one, Montanes broke his opponent´s serve once more to take a 3-1 lead. But Raonic wasn´t going to walk away from the match, he fought his way back with and forced a decider with an impressive five game win in a row.
First five games of the third set went with serve before Montanes taking his chances and breaking Raonic to go 4-2 up. That proved to be enough for him to seal the match and set up a second round meeting with Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who had a first round bye.
Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic lost his match against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (3).
Stepanek got himself only one break point opportunity in set 1, but he failed to convert it. Nieminen was more accurate in taking his chances and went one set up.
In set 2, both players dropped their serves twice and it was the Finn who took control of the tiebreak.
Nieminen’s next opponent will be the seven-time champion Nadal, who defeated his countryman Ferrer in last year’s final.
From the other first round matches – Austrian Jurgen Melzer moved to round two by dismissing Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-2 7-5, French wild card holder Paul-Henri Mathieu overcame American Donald Young, beating him 6-0 6-1 and German Philipp Kohlschreiber eliminated French qualifier Guillaume Rufin 6-4 6-4.