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Monfils gets the big fish

Monfils gets the big fish
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Wild card Gael Monfils confirmed there is never a dull moment when he takes part in the French Open by upsetting Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych in a first-round marathon at Roland Garros, late on Monday.

The Frenchman, whose career has been recently plagued by a knee injury, prevailed 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5 in front of an ecstatic Court Philippe Chatrier after four hours three minutes. The result marked a spectacular reverse in fortune for Berdych, who reached the Madrid Masters last four by beating world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Former world number seven Monfils, who started his freefall in the ATP rankings when he pulled out of last year’s French Open, is no stranger to upsets and prolonged ties at his home Slam.In 2010, the Parisian played into the night, until almost 10 o’clock against Italian Fabio Fognini in a second-round match which he lost the following day after more than four hours of tennis.

Two years ago, Monfils toyed with David Ferrer’s nerves and beat him 8-6 in the fifth set to reach the last eight. In 2009, it was Andy Roddick who lost his temper, complaining to the umpire that it was too dark to play and, after both were forced to continue playing, Monfils sealed a fourth-round win in straight sets as dusk settled. On Monday Monfils did not wait for the dark.

Defending champion Maria Sharapova dropped just eight points on serve to ease into the French Open second round on Monday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei.The Russian second seed goes on to face Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard for a place in the last 32. Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam in Paris in 2012 with her Roland Garros triumph, needed just 54 minutes to see off her Taiwanese opponent, the world number 42.

As well as her impressive serving numbers, Sharapova fired 25 winners to Hsieh’s eight and kept her unforced errors to just four against 24. Hsieh Su-Wei has now played fi4-6, 6-4, ve times at Roland Garros and been beaten in the first round on each occasion.
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