Verdasco, Melzer advance at Monte Carlo Masters
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (Sports Network) - Left-handed seeds Fernando Verdasco and Jurgen Melzer were among Monday's first-round winners at the Monte Carlo Masters, third Masters 1000 event of the year.
The 13th-seeded Verdasco overcame pesky Belgian Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, while the 15th-seeded Melzer of Austria broke Poland's Lukasz Kubot five times en route to a 6-2, 7-5 decision on the red clay at the famed Monte Carlo Country Club.
Verdasco, who was the 2010 Monte Carlo runner-up to fellow Spanish southpaw Rafael Nadal, will meet Croat Ivan Dodig on Tuesday.
One other seed advanced on Day 2, as No. 16 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine leveled Argentine veteran Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-2.
A pair of Frenchmen moved on, as Julien Benneteau held off Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 and oft-injured Paul-Henri Mathieu, a wild card this week, dismantled American Donald Young 6-0, 6-1 in 67 minutes.
Spain's Albert Montanes snuck past rising Canadian Milos Raonic 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, while additional wins came for German Philipp Kohlschreiber, Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, and Aussie Bernard Tomic. Nieminen topped Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
The promising Tomic will face Dolgopolov in the round of 32, while Kohlschreiber will encounter fourth-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday.
The great Nadal won an Open Era-record seventh consecutive title here last year and is a staggering 39-1 lifetime in Monte Carlo. He topped David Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish finale.
Nadal and fellow former No. 1 Roger Federer are the all-time leaders with 19 Masters titles apiece.
The top seed this week is world No. 1 star Novak Djokovic.
Also on Tuesday in Monte Carlo, third-seeded Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray will battle Serbian Viktor Troicki in the second round.
The 2012 winner of this $3.2 million event will collect $603,000.
04/16 13:40:58 ET