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The 2018 Monte Carlo Masters got underway on Sunday as the beginning of the singles draw marked its official opening, and Karen Khachanov beat Thanasi Kokkinakis to become the first entrant to play his way into the second round.
Khachanov defeated Kokkinakis 7-5, 6-4 and will face either Gilles Simon or Adrian Mannarino in the next stage of the competition, with that French duo scheduled to face off on Monday afternoon.
In the qualifying round, Jeremy Chardy defeated French compatriot Nicolas Mahut in a spree of straight-set results, winning 6-4, 6-1 to take one of the seven available spots left in the main draw.
The French revolution continued as Pierre-Hugues Herbert defeated Andrej Martin 6-3, 6-3. Italy also had a pair of competitors advance, as Andreas Seppi and Marco Cecchinato progressed from the batch of qualifiers.
Read on for a roundup of Sunday’s results from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France.
Sunday’s Results, Schedule
Karen Khachanov bt. Thanasi Kokkinakis: 7-5, 6-4
Mischa Zverev vs. Felix Auger Aliassime
Marton Fucsovics vs. Daniil Medvedev
Stefanos Tsitsipas bt. Mirza Basic: 6-1, 6-4
Marco Cecchinato bt. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: 6-4, 6-2
Pierre-Hugues Herbert bt. Andrej Martin: 6-3, 6-3
Jeremy Chardy bt. Nicolas Mahut: 6-4, 6-1
Andreas Seppi bt. Marcel Granollers-Pujol: 6-3, 6-3
Dusan Lajovic bt. Sergiy Stakhovsky: 6-4, 6-4
Ilya Ivashka bt. Florian Mayer: 7-5, 6-0
Visit the official Monte Carlo Masters website to view the tournament draw in full.
It was almost a shame to see Khachanov, 21, and Kokkinakis, 22, drawn against each other so early in the tournament, guaranteeing at least one of the sport’s up-and-coming talents would be leaving in the first round.
Despite the Russian taking a straight-set victory, however, Khachanov’s win was decided on fine margins. Tennis writer Nick Nemeroff attested to the pair even matching up stylistically:
Nick Nemeroff @NNemeroff
Khachanov-Kokkinakis looks like one player playing against himself. Nearly identical outfits, very similar strokes, especially off the forehand side.
Kokkinakis gave a great account of his abilities for the most part and saved an impressive 11 out of 13 break points he faced, per Flashscore.com, but a few misplaced steps in critical moments proved his undoing, via Tennis TV:
Only two breaks were conceded in the match: Kokkinakis in his last service of the first set and his penultimate serve in the second—two well-timed pushes from Khachanov that mean his contest continues.
Chardy and Hugues-Herbert advanced following wins over Mahut and Martin, with neither looking particularly troubled as they made their return to rubbing shoulders with some of the sport’s more elite stars.
Seppi and Cecchinato also went through after they got the better of Spaniards Marcel Granollers-Pujol and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, respectively.
Cecchinato faced early opposition from Garcia-Lopez, but the 34-year-old’s stamina appeared to wilt as he faded to a 6-4, 6-2 defeat. Seppi, meanwhile, rarely looked to be out of second gear as he beat Granollers-Pujol 6-3, 6-3.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will join them in the main draw after the 19-year-old Greek challenger beat Bosnian Mirza Basic 6-1, 6-4, as will Dusan Lajovic after he triumphed 6-4, 6-4 over Sergiy Stakhovsky.
German Florian Mayer advanced as a lucky loser at the Monte Carlo Masters despite suffering a 7-5, 6-0 defeat to Ilya Ivashka, the Belarusian who will face off against Fabio Fognini in his first-round fixture.