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Monfils, Blake And El Aynaoui Ring In The New Year With First Round Wins

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils,France Younes El Ayanoui, Morocco and James Blake, USA(L-R) Frenchman Gael Monfils, Moroccan Younes El Ayanoui, and American James Blake
(Photos by: El Ayanoui-AP, Monfils-Mark Kolbe/Getty Images, Blake-WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Well, well, well now... Happy New Year to Frenchman Gael Monfils, American James Blake and Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui (whom I am very happy to see again) as all three kick off the 2010 ATP calender with first round wins as world class tennis returned to Brisbane for the first time since 1994, with the state capital of Queensland hosting the combined men's and women's event in the opening week of the 2009 season.

Monfils and Blake opened their seasons in Brisbane, while El Aynaoui found fortune in Doha, Qatar at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, one of two ATP World Tour events held in the Middle East.

At the Queensland Tennis Center, paired against American Taylor Dent, Monfils survived a tight match scoring 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

There is no reason for me to rehash Blake's 2009 season, we all know it and are still smarting from it; so, moving right along with some potentially good news. While Blake got off to a slow start, losing the first set to fellow American Sam Querrey 4-6; in what I hope will be his standard mode of operation for 2010, Blake was able to press on and overtake Querrey winning the remaining two sets 6-3, 6-4.

In the first round match of what will reportedly be his 'swan song' tournament, El Aynaoui defeated American Ryler Deheart 7-63, 7-64.

Up next for the three victors will be Monfils taking on Frenchman Florent Serra and Blake up against another Frenchman, Marc Giquel, while El Aynaoui will meet Belgium's Steve Darcis.

The Gulf Times is reporting that El Ayanoui will announce his retirement at the end of this tournament - "El Aynaoui's Final Fling."

Posted by Shelia

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