Isner, Tsonga win Madrid openers

05/05/2014 12:29 PM

05/05/2014 12:29 PM

Madrid, Spain ( - Towering American John Isner and French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were among Monday's first-round winners at the $5 million Madrid Open, an ATP Masters 1000 event.

The ninth-seeded 6-foot-9 Isner secured the only break of the match before holding off Russian qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, while the 11th-seeded former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga snuck past fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on the red clay at the Magic Box.

In other action involving seeds, No. 10 Japanese Kei Nishikori handled Croat Ivan Dodig 6-4, 6-4 and No. 15 Russian Mikhail Youzhny dismissed German Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4.

Meanwhile, Gilles Simon got past fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire 2-0, retired, Spaniard Fernando Verdasco foiled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6 (7-3), and Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen whipped Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-2.

Additional Day 2 wins came for qualifier and rising Austrian Dominic Thiem, Spanish wild card Albert Ramos, Aussie lucky loser Marinko Matosevic, and Romanian wild card Marius Copil.

This French Open tune-up features three-time champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, as well as 2008 winner Andy Murray.

Nadal, this week's top seed, beat Stanislas Wawrinka for last year's title.


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