Ferrer, Isner win openers in Spain

Valencia, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion David Ferrer and towering American John Isner were a pair of first-round winners Wednesday at the $2 million Valencia Open tennis event.

The top-seeded French Open runner-up Ferrer drilled oft-injured Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, while the fourth-seeded 6-foot-9 Isner held off Latvian Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2) on the indoor hardcourts at the City of Arts and Sciences. Isner swatted 17 aces past Gulbis on Day 3.

Ferrer, who was last week's runner-up in Stockholm, beat Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in last year's Valencia finale, also titled here in 2010, and was the runner-up back in 2005.

Up next for the Spanish favorite Ferrer will be France's Julien Benneteau, while Isner will take on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

In some second-round action on Wednesday, seventh-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini secured a quarterfinal berth by pasting Spaniard and 2011 Valencia champion and 2010 runner-up Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-2.

In other opening-round play, Finn Jarkko Nieminen handled France's Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 and Chardy overcame German Florian Mayer 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The 2013 Valencia winner will collect $490,000.