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Top Seed Monfils Serves Warning At South African Open

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils vs. Dominik Hrbaty 2010 South African OpenGael Monfils, France
(Photos ©Reg Caldecott)

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — Top seed Gael Monfils lost the toss and first two games before unleashing his service power to crush Dominik Hrbaty 6-2, 6-1 and reach the second round of the South African Open on Tuesday.

The 23-year Frenchman ranked 13 in the world was clearly stung by the early form of the veteran Slovak and lost just one of the remaining 13 games at the Montecasino entertainment centre in a leafy, upmarket northern suburb.

It was a floodlit match settled by serving with Monfils outstanding apart from an occasional double-fault blip while 32-year-old Hrbaty battled as his dream start swiftly transformed into a nightmare.

Black Tennis Pro's Gael Monfils vs. Dominik Hrbaty 2010 South African OpenLong before the end of the first round tie the only issue was how long it would take Monfils to wrap up victory and the end came on 53 minutes and 36 seconds via a stinging first serve from the Switzerland-based Frenchman.

"I had a good game and hope to continue this form throughout the week as my ambition is to emulate compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and win the title," said Monfils.

"The altitude was not a big problem as I had two good days of practice and playing at night made it a little easier for me as there was less humidity," he added after a sweltering day in the South African financial capital.

Monfils, born in Paris to Caribbean parents and a huge fan of late American tennis great Arthur Ashe, has a second round date with compatriot Josselin Ouanna, who ousted Israeli Harel Levy in straight sets.

Posted by Shelia

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