Verdasco wins; Ferrero, Davydenko lose in Paris
Paris, France – Fernando Verdasco was among Monday's winners, - the $3.06 million BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
The former world No. 7 Verdasco came from behind to best Croat Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, while Verdasco's Spanish compatriot Ferrero gave way to qualifier and French crowd favorite Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 6-3 on the indoor hardcourts at Palais Omnisports. Ferrero captured the French Open here in Paris back in 2003.
Verdasco is rewarded with a Tuesday second-round match against fifth-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych, the 2005 Paris Masters champ.
"It's slower than last year," Verdasco said of the court. "I prefer maybe a little bit more this court because it's slower and I have more time to prepare my shots."
The 2006 Paris Masters winner and former top-five star Davydenko was sent packing by Italian qualifier Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.
Meanwhile, American Alex Bogomolov Jr. overcame Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 and German qualifier Philipp Kohlschreiber handled former top-10 Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-2.
Other Day-1 wins came for French wild card Julien Benneteau and Adrian Mannarino, German Florian Mayer, South African Kevin Anderson, and Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Benneteau surprised promising Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, while Mayer dismissed 2004 Paris Masters runner-up Radek Stepanek 7-5, 6-3.
Sixth-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 13th-seeded former world No. 1 Andy Roddick will be among those seeing second-round action here on Tuesday. The 2008 Paris Masters champion and former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga will face Garcia-Lopez, while the former U.S. Open titlist Roddick will battle Benneteau.
This week's top seeds are world No. 1 and 2009 Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic, 2011 Aussie Open runner-up Andy Murray and former top-ranked great Roger Federer, who's fresh off his first title in 10 months after winning in his native Basel this past the weekend. Federer will meet Mannarino here in the round of 32.
Sweden's Robin Soderling topped flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils in last year's Paris Masters finale, but an injured Soderling is not competing this year.
Monfils, seeded eighth this week, has lost in the last two finals here.