Monfils rallies to see off Kecmanovic at Paris Masters

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French showman incarnate Gael Monfils came from a set down on Tuesday night to advance to the second round of the Paris Masters.

The 15th seed beat the qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to the delight of the partisans on the centre court at the AccorHotels Arena.

Monfils, controversially left out of the France’s Davis Cup squad for this month’s tournament later this month, failed to find his range in the opening set.

And the 22-year old Serb took advantage of the tentative veteran to gain an early break in the first set.

That was enough to give him the opener and it was level pegging in the second until he served to take it into a tiebreak.

He faltered.

But Monfils was as brittle as he was brilliant and he was soon break points down in his opening service game in the decider.

He saved those to lead 1-0 and then had Kecmanovic under pressure.

But he also fended off two break points before making it one apiece.

Move

Monfils engineered two more in the fifth game and an extravagant backhand return secured the break for 4-2.

It was quickly 5-2 and though Kecmanovic dug in Monfils would not be denied.

The 35-year-old finished it off with a thunderously theatrical cross court forehand.

"It wasn’t an easy match," Monfils conceded after the two hour encounter.

"He'd come through the qualifying rounds and I knew he played fast.

"It took me a bit of time to adjust. But once I did I felt in control."

Monfils will play his compatriot Adrian Mannarino in the second round.

“It’s always tough to play a pal," he added. "And he’s got a game that has always caused me trouble … our matches are always close. I just hope we can offer up a good match."

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