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Hanescu Saves 2 MPs To Edge Monfils; Defending Champion Montanes Falls

Stuttgart, Germany

Hanescu© MercedesCup/Paul ZimmerVictor Hanescu is now 5-29 lifetime versus Top 10 opponents.

Romanian Victor Hanescu broke an 11-match losing streak against Top 10 players by beating World No. 7 Gael Monfils of France 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 on Wednesday at the MercedesCup.

Hanescu saved two match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the second-set tie-break and completed only his fifth win in 34 matches over a Top 10 opponent in two hours and 17 minutes.

"I am very happy to beat a Top 10 player," said Hanescu. "It is always good to beat these kind of players. It was a tough first round for me, so I am now looking to continue to play well here. It was tough in the tie-break, but I was focused and hung in there. Luck was on my side."

Top seed Monfils had led 4-2 in the first set on Tuesday night, when the match was suspended due to rain. Last year's finalist hit 13 aces and won 63 per cent of his service points, but dropped to 19-8 on the season.

"It was tough," said Monfils. "Victor played well and I dropped a bit. He was solid, so it was hard for me to find a solution."

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In another first-round match, Marcel Granollers - who had travelled from Davis Cup duty for Spain in Austin, Texas, to Stuttgart - shrugged off any lingering jetlag to defeat seventh-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in two hours and 10 minutes.

Pablo Andujar, who has played 23 of his 31 matches this year on clay courts, caused another upset on day three when he beat fellow Spaniard and defending champion Albert Montanes 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes. Andujar also beat Montanes en route to his first ATP World Tour title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca in April.

Play in Stuttgart was cancelled for the day at 8:15 p.m. local time.

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