Valencia, Spain – Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt ousted fourth-seeded 2011 runner-up Juan Monaco, while towering American John Isner was a hard-fought winner in first-round action Monday at the Valencia Open 500 tennis event.
The 91st-ranked Aussie wild card Hewitt humbled the world No. 10 Monaco in 6-3, 6-4 fashion on the hardcourts at the City of the Arts.
The Argentine Monaco lost to Spaniard Marcel Granollers in last year's Valencia finale.
The fifth-seeded 6-foot-9 Isner held off Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5 and will meet Belgian David Goffin in the round 16. Fognini actually struck more aces (12-11) than the massive-serving Isner in defeat, but was broken three times, compared to only one break against the American.
In an all-Spanish affair on Day 2, Fernando Verdasco handled wild card and fellow former top-10 star Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4. Verdasco captured this tournament back in 2004.
Also on Monday, the aforementioned Goffin drubbed Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-2, 6-2, Croatian qualifier Ivan Dodig doused German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), and Spaniard Albert Ramos leveled American qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-3.
On Tuesday, top seed David Ferrer, of Spain, will face Belgian Olivier Rochus, while last week's Stockholm runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, this week's second seed, will face Belgian Xavier Malisse, and sixth-seeded Nicolas Almagro will battle fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, the former world No. 1 who will retire after this event. Ferrer titled here in 2008 and 2010, while Almagro is also a two-time champ (2006-07). Ferrero was the Valencia titlist in 2003.
The 2012 Valencia champion will collect $445,000.