Thu, Jun 13, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Monfils defeats Raonic in Gerry Weber first round

AP, HALLE, Germany

Gael Monfils beat fifth-seeded Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Gerry Weber Open on Tuesday, the latest step in the Frenchman’s comeback from a knee injury.

In the upset of the day, Mirza Basic of Bosnia, a lucky loser from qualifying playing his first main-draw match on the ATP Tour, downed seventh-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).

The 21-year-old Basic earned a match point with a drop volley and won the match when Janowicz reached another drop shot, but sent it back long.

He was playing only because Philipp Petzschner withdrew with an injury.

Monfils broke Raonic for 2-1 in the first set and never looked back. The Frenchman also went up a break at the start of the second set. The Canadian put some pressure on Monfils in the final game, but Monfils hit a drop shot followed by a lob and served out the match with an ace.

Once ranked as high as No. 7 in the world, Monfils missed several months last year because of a right-knee injury that also cut his season short. He was ranked No. 119 a month ago, but has jumped to No. 67 this week.

Monfils wasted four match points in losing to Tommy Robredo in the third round of the French Open.

In other first-round matches, sixth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany cruised past Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-3, 6-1; Ernests Gulbis of Latvia beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Leonardo Mayer of Argentina defeated German wild card Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/4), 6-4; and Jurgen Melzer of Austria outlasted qualifier Riccardo Ghedin of Italy 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-4.

Basic played as a junior at Wimbledon six years ago, and none again until three rounds in qualifying in Halle. He began playing tennis in his native Sarajevo “because there was nothing else to do, it was after the war and everything was destroyed.”

Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang lost 2-6, 4-6 to Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany in the first round on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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