Rotterdam - Holder Juan Martin del Potro has tested his delicate left wrist over
nearly one and three-quarter hours as he beat Gael Monfils 7-6 (8/6),
6-3 on Wednesday at the Rotterdam World Tennis.
The Argentine top
seed repeated his win over the flamboyant and crowd-pleasing Frenchman
from 2013 when he beat Monfils at the Ahoy stadium in their only other
Monfils came to the first-round start after winning a
title at the weekend and has been beaten in 2014 only by Del Potro and
Rafael Nadal in a 12-3 season.
Del Potro is dealing with recovery
on his wrist which gave him pain at the Australian Open and sent him to
an American specialist last month for consultations and a recovery
"The wrist did well today," said the winner, who sent
last week's Montpellier champion out on a second match point when he
drove a forehand winner down the line.
"I'm hoping it continues
this way. If I can keep playing like this I will have done good work.
I'm very happy to be able to return and defend my title.
"Gael is a good friend of mine and a big fighter. It is always so tough to play him."
starting off in somewhat poor humour on Kids day in a noisy stadium,
Monfils settled in, matching Del Potro in long rallies and occasionally
leaping for an overhead or throwing himself at a passing shot and
rolling on the hardcourt.
Del Potro will next play another
Frenchman in qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu. The Argentine is a huge
threat when he's top-seeded: in his last five tournaments at the top of
the draw he has lifted five titles and has won 24 matches.
more seeds fought through to the second round as number four Frenchman
Richard Gasquet beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3
and 35-year-old fourth seed Tommy Haas overcame Spain's Fernando
Nicolas Mahut of France reached the second round over lucky loser Daniel Brands 7-5, 6-3 while Austrian
Dominic Thiem put out Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
British second seed Andy Murray makes his start against Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.
Results from the third day of the $1.3 million ATP World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-3, 6-3
Juan Martn Del Potro (ARG x1) bt Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt Daniel Brands (GER) 7-5, 6-3
Tommy Haas (GER x6) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1), 7-5
Richard Gasquet (FRA x4) bt Thiemo de Bakker (NED) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3
Dominic Thiem (AUT) bt Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4