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Monfils Makes Winning Return; Davydenko Battles To Opening Win

Metz, France

Davydenko© A Briand – Moselle OpenNikolay Davydenko rallied from a set down to reach the second round in Metz.

Frenchman Gael Monfils made a successful return to action on Tuesday at the Moselle Open in Metz. The seventh seed, who has been sidelined for nearly four months with a knee injury, struck 21 aces as he defeated Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-3, 6-2 in 63 minutes.

The 26-year-old Monfils was playing his first match since a second-round exit at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur (l. to Baker) in May. He improved to an 11-2 record at this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament, where he won the title in 2009 (d. Kohlschreiber) and reached the final in 2005 (l. to Ljubicic).

Eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko overcame a slow start, rallying from a set down to defeat German qualifier Mischa Zverev 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Russian saved nine of the 14 break points he faced as he battled to victory in one hour and 47 minutes.

The 31-year-old Davydenko, a semi-finalist on his only previous appearance in Metz seven years ago, improved to an 18-19 match record on the season. The right-hander was a semi-finalist in Rotterdam (l. to Federer) and Nice (l. to Baker) earlier in the year.

Qualifier Clement Reix earned a second-round clash with top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he won an all-French contest with Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. World No. 502 Reix, playing his first tour-level match at the age of 28, fired 21 aces and saved eight of the nine break points that Roger-Vasselin created to prevail in one hour and 45 minutes.

Second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber will open his campaign against Benoit Paire after the Frenchman dismissed Belgium’s Xavier Malisse 6-1, 6-4 in 53 minutes. Meanwhile, third seed Marcel Granollers will challenge Ivo Karlovic after the Croat fired 18 aces and saved six break points to defeat French qualifier Kenny De Schepper 7-6(5), 7-6(3).

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