2/6/13 3:59 AM | Cheryl Murray
Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire made successful opening bids in the first of the early European hard court tournaments.
Gael Monfils def. Ruben Bemelmans 7-5, 6-4
Frenchman Gael Monfils, who was sidelined for much of the second half of 2012 with injury, had a good first round win over Belgian Ruben Bemelmans, Monfils, who was once firmly ensconced in the top 10, is now struggling with a ranking outside the top 100. Fortunately for the Frenchman's camp, he has already shown signs in 2013 of good play, with a quarterfinal showing in Doha and a semifinal in Auckland.
Though he wasn't spectacular on the return, Monfils served well enough to put away the Belgian in straight sets. He smacked 10 aces and saved all three break points against him. He secured a single break of serve in each set to advance to the second round.
Benoit Paire def. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-0, 6-2
It was an easy day at the office for the No. 8 seed Benoit Parire, who dispatched of Spanish qualifier Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in under 45 minutes on court. Paire made quick work of the Spaniard in the first set, serving up a bagel even with a 53% first serve percentage.
Paire moves into the second round, where he will take on Steve Darcis of Belgium.
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