Frenchmen light up first day at ATP Paris Masters

Tuesday, 2018-10-30 07:53:11
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Richard Gasquet of France celebrates his win against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina at Shanghai Masters in Shanghai, China, on October 9, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
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French players gave home crowds many reasons to watch the first day action of the ATP Paris Masters even without featuring seeded players such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Paris on Monday.

French veteran Richard Gasquet upset the 19-year-old Canadian talent Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the evening session.

"I know that this opponent is dangerous," admitted Gasquet. "His serve is good, the surface is fast. It was not easy but I was there when I had to. I had to keep my serve. So it's a beautiful victory for myself."

In an all-French first round, Adrian Mannarino eliminated Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-2.

"I tried to give him as less rhythm as possible so that he couldn't get into the match and get some confidence. I tried to shorten the rallies as much as I could," Mannarino pointed out.

"And on top of it, I felt quite good today. It worked out well. Even on the serve, I served well. The tactic worked out well in the end," he added.

But it was not the day for Nicolas Mahut, who lost to Frances Tiafoe of the United States 7-6 (1), 6-2.

In doubles first round, French pair of Julien Benneteau and Lucas Pouille conceded a 6-4, 6-4 loss to American Austin Krajicek and Croatian Nikola Mektic.

Last year's finalist Filip Krajinovic of Serbia lost to Russian Karen Khachanov 7-5, 6-2. The same fate arrived for the Italian Marco Cecchinato, who made into the semifinals at Roland Garros this year, as he fell to Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-3. The Portuguese established his second round clash with the second-seeded Djokovic on Tuesday.

The Paris Masters, the final stop prior to ATP Finals in London mid November, is expected to witness fierce contention between Nadal and Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking and the ATP Masters 1000 title record. Nadal boasts 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles to Djokovic's 32.

There are also two Finals spots up for grabs at the tournament underway until Sunday, with Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem on pace to qualify.

Xinhua