Metz, France – Aging American James Blake was an opening- round winner Monday at the Moselle Open tennis event.
The former top-five star handled towering 21-year-old French wild card Albano Olivetti 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in 75 minutes on the indoor hardcourt at Metz Expo Parc. The 6-foot-8 big-serving Olivetti smacked 19 aces in a losing effort.
The 32-year-old Blake's second-round opponent will be fourth-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany.
On Tuesday, oft-injured French favorite Gael Monfils, seeded seventh this week, will play his first tennis since May against diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus. Monfils, sidelined for four months because of knee problems, titled here in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2005.
This week's top seed is also the defending champion. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated former titlist Ivan Ljubicic in last year's Metz finale. A Frenchman has captured the last three Moselle Open titles (Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Monfils).