Monfils shocks Berdych in first round of French Open

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Gael Monfils eliminated Berdych after a thrilling five-setter to move into the second round of Roland Garros 2013, whilst Daniel Gimeno-Travel dismissed Monaco. Marin Cilic is also through.

Last week’s Nice finalist Monfils pulled off the biggest surprise of the tournament so far by sending home seed number five Tomas Berdych. The match would be tight from the beginning to the end with break points chances few and far between, especially in the first four sets. Monfils started better and acquired a two set advantage before the Czech clinched two successive tie-breaks to level the terms. The deciding set went with serve until 5-5 when the Frenchman claimed a crucial break and consolidated it to wrap up the clash with a stunning 7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-7 (4), 7-5 win after more than four hours of tennis. Monfils, who played in French Open semis in 2008, is meeting Gulbis in round two.

Seventeenth seed Juan Monaco, who conquered Dusseldorf just two days ago, did not survive the first round of Roland Garros where he faced 49th-ranked Gimeno-Traver of Spain. The favorite put in a solid performance in the first two sets and won each of them thanks to an early break. In the third one the Argentine was merely three points away from entering round two as he went 4-1 ahead in the tie-break, yet Gimeno-Traver started his comeback by turning around the breaker and stealing Monaco’s serve in the beginning of the set number four – he did not let go of the advantage and a decider would follow. Monaco was on a back foot for most of the final set and was finally beaten after the Spaniard confirmed his second break of the set. End score: 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-4. Gimeno-Traver’s next opponent is Troicki.

Tenth seed Cilic, who has been far from his best in the recent weeks, marched to a fine straight sets victory against German Philip Petzschner. The Croat destroyed his first round challenger by seizing his serve six times in total and sealing the match after one hour and a half of play. He progressed with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 triumph to set up a second round clash against Australian Kyrgios.

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