• ATP Tour

Rebuilding process continues apace for Monfils

ESPN staff
January 8, 2013
Gael Monfils is working his way back to his best © PA Photos

Gael Monfils showed glimpses of a return to form as he battled from a set down to book his place in the second round match at the Heineken Open in Auckland.

Monfils, who has slipped to No. 99 in the world rankings after struggling with a knee injury, thrilled the crowd with his entertaining brand of tennis as he secured a 6-7(2) 6-3 6-4 victory.

"I think I missed a bit of consistency but there was some good stuff and it's really nice to have a match under my belt," Monfils said. "My tennis is improving but I need more matches to be at my top."

The former world No. 7 will face another qualifier on Wednesday, after Australian Greg Jones upset sixth seed Jurgen Melzer 7-6(7) 6-2.

Elsewhere, Santiago Giraldo sailed into the second round with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Go Soeda, while Igor Sijsling won the battle of the Dutchman with a 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Robin Haase.

There were also wins for Lukas Lacko, Andrea Falla and Lu Yen-Hsun on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at the Apia International in Sydney, Bernard Tomic claimed bragging rights with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Australian No. 1 Marinko Matosevic. Tomic, who can reclaim his status as top Australian if he wins the tournament, will face Florian Mayer in the second round.

Feliciano Lopez ousted seventh seed Jeremy Chardy 6-7(2) 7-5 6-3, while Radek Stepanek got the better of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Grigor Dimitrov, beaten in the Brisbane International final by Andy Murray on Sunday, was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Fabio Fognini, while there were also wins for Kevin Anderson and Ryan Harrison.

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