“I showed a lot of willpower, I had a good attitude, and I was aggressive,” he said afterwards.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to come from a set down to get the better of Juan Monaco at the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday. Tsonga lost the first set 6-4, but hit back to win the next two 6-3 6-2. “I think there are many things I liked in my game today, and I played a very good match.”

Tenth-seed Mikhail Youzhny was an early casualty, losing in three sets to Florian Mayer. The Russian, a semi-finalist in Marseille in February, went down 6-3 2-6 6-3 as German Mayer continued his recent fine form which saw him reach the round of 16 in Miami last time out.

Nicolas Almagro, seeded nine, beat Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-3, 11th seed Viktor Troicki struggled in the first set before seeing off wild card Jean-Rene Lisnard 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 while Richard Gasquet (13) required three sets to overcome Denis Istomin 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Clay court specialist Tommy Robredo proved too strong for Ivan Dodig and there were also wins for qualifiers Olivier Rochus and Frederico Gil. Croatian Marin Cilic lost just six points on serve and broke his opponent five times as he crushed Italian qualifier Filippo Volandri 6-2 6-1, while Robin Haase ended a run of four succesive first-round losses with a hard-fought win over Nikolay Davydenko. The 24-year-old won the first set 7-5, lost the second 4-6 but won the game with a third-set 6-4 win.

Wild card entrant Radek Stepanek saved two match points to come from behind and beat Marcos Baghdatis. Stepanek saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in a third-set tie-break, before prevailing 3-6 6-1 7-6 (9/7). He will now meet Andy Murray.


The day’s other games saw Jarkko Nieminen beat Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3) and Daniel Gimeno-Traver get the better of Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.



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