Djokovic drubs Montanes; Bopanna-Qureshi overcome Knowle-Pospisil
French No. 1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was made to work hard for his place in the third round of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday, battling past Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in just under two hours.
Tsonga broke in the final game of the match to clinch victory, having hit 19 winners to 39 unforced errors and won 76 per cent of first serve points. It was the Frenchman’s sixth win in a row over Kohlschreiber, whom he leads 7-1 in their head-to-head.
The 28-year-old Tsonga was a semifinalist at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament last year and seven weeks later went on to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros.
Tsonga turned in a welcome victory for France after two compatriots enjoyed mixed fortunes in the first round.
France’s Julien Benneteau advanced over Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, but Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili packed off Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Tsonga is playing in the tournament for a fifth time, with a 2013 semifinal his best result at an event the French consider a “home” tie.
The ninth seed continued his tradition of never losing in a Monte Carlo opening match.
About the tough encounter, Tsonga said: “I just had a bad period. I felt my legs were very heavy. I didn’t feel well, so I called the doctor to explain what was happening. He gave me homeopathic treatment.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic stormed into the third round with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Albert Montanes.
The second seed is bidding for his fifth straight Masters after ending last season as the winner at Shanghai and Paris, and sweeping Indian Wells and Miami last month.
Djokovic, who won the last 11 games, wrapped up the match in just 45 minutes to improve to 17-2 this year.
“For my first clay match since Roland Garros last June, it was great,” said Djokovic. “I could not find any flaws in my game.
“My opponent was making a lot of unforced errors, I tried not to give him any rhythm. Longer rallies would have given more of a test so early in the clay season,” he added.
Djokovic revealed that he has been carrying a slight wrist problem for a week, but said he would not speak of it.
Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, the 2011 finalist, started with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Jeremy Chardy.
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi overcame a stiff resistance from Julian Knowle and Vasek Pospisil before moving into the pre-quarterfinals.
The Indo-Pak pair battled past the Austrian-Canadian combo 7-6(2) 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes in the opening round.
There was no break of serve in the opening set as Knowle and Pospisil saved both the chances they faced.
In the second set, Bopanna and Qureshi were broken but they managed to break their rivals twice to seal the issue.
The experienced Indo-Pak pair fired 10 aces to just one by their rivals, who were also guilty of committing three double faults.
The results: Second round: Tomas Berdych bt Dimitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-4; David Ferrer bt Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-0; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Novak Djokovic bt Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0.
First round: Nicolas Almagro bt Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-2; Gael Monfils bt Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6(4); Grigor Dimitrov bt Marcelo Granollers 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez bt Benjamin Balleret 7-5, 6-2; Julien Benneteau bt Jurgen Melzer 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; Teimuraz Gabashvili bt Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Pablo Carreno bt Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-3; Andreas Seppi bt Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6(4); Lu Yen-Hsun bt Federico Delbonis 7-6(5), 6-1; Michael Llodra bt Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles: First round: Rohan Bopanna & Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi bt Julian Knowle & Vasek Pospisil 7-6(2), 6-4.