Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerJuan Mónaco (ARG)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Juan Monaco and Feliciano Lopez will meet in the second round of the Olympic Tennis Event after both players came through their opening matches at Wimbledon on Monday.
The pair were scheduled to begin their singles campaign on Sunday, but wet weather put paid to those plans so the players returned on Monday. Monaco made light work of Belgium’s David Goffin 64 61 on No. 1 Court, while Lopez came from a set down to battle past Dmitry Tursunov 67(5) 62 97 on No. 11 Court.
Monaco came out of the blocks quickly and broke Goffin’s opening serve to take a 2-0 lead, but in a strange run of games the two players exchanged a further three breaks in a row as they both struggled to get a foothold in the match.
With Goffin serving at 4-5, Monaco made his move again and broke the Belgian to take the first set. From there on it was one-way traffic and two breaks of serve in the second set saw the Argentine home in 1 hour 18 minutes.
“I think I played a good match,” said Monaco. “It's not easy to play the first match, but I'm happy with the way I played today. Maybe the first set I was a little up and down, but then in the second set I played very well.”
“I’m a little bit disappointed to lose in the first round, but it was a good experience,” added Goffin. “Monaco was playing well. He is No. 10 in the world now, so it was a tough match. In the first set I had some opportunities to win, but he was very solid on the key points and in the second set he was playing much better than me.”
Lopez was on court for 2 hours 16 minutes as he claimed a hard fought victory over Tursunov. The Russian edged the first set on a tiebreak 9-7, but Lopez regrouped in the second set and two breaks of serve helped him to force a decider.
The Spanish left-hander served first in the final set and always had his nose in front. He didn’t allow Tursunov a single break point and at 8-7 he finally clinched the vital break of his own. Lopez impressively went the whole match without dropping his serve.
“It was obviously a very tough match when you win 9-7 in the third set,” said Lopez. “After losing the first set the match was really complicated. I found the way to play better in the second set and the third set was really close. Both of us had chances and at the end I could make the break in the last game of the match.”
Monaco and Lopez have played each other five times over a 10-year spell with the Spaniard holding a 3-2 edge. Lopez won their most recent meeting in Belgrade last year on clay. This will be their first clash on grass.
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