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DC Open: Monfils returns to the circuit with a first-round win over Fratangelo

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DC Open: Monfils returns to the circuit with a first-round win over Fratangelo

The former World No.6 won 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets against Fratangelo in Washington, D.C. on Monday night.

Staying way behind the baseline, the 36-year-old Monfils used his speed and athleticism to build a defensive wall that the 30-year-old Pittsburgh native was unable to penetrate on his 2023 main-draw tour-level debut.

En route to his 527th match win, Monfils also delighted fans with two signature slam-dunk smashes, according to a report on the ATP website.

Monfils, who at No.323 in the ATP Rankings needed a wild card into the main draw, withdrew from the second round of his home Grand Slam with a left wrist injury and played his first match since Roland Garros last week in Atlanta.

Monfils, who next meets fellow showman, Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, has reached at least one ATP final for 18 straight seasons (2005-22) and has 11 titles to his name.

Former finalist Mackenzie McDonald picked up his first win in three career meetings with Diego Schwartzman when he defeated the World No.95 6-3, 6-3. McDonald saved the lone break point he faced while converting three of nine opportunities on the 30-year-old’s serve.

The World No. 60 from California defeated former champions Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori en route to the 2021 title match, where he lost to Jannik Sinner.

Meanwhile, Michael Mmoh advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of fellow American, qualifier Bradley Klahn, who was chasing his first tour-level win since the 2019 US Open.

China’s fast-rising 18-year-old lefty Shang Juncheng won his opening-round match for the second consecutive week (Atlanta) with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ecuador’s Emilio Gomez. Shang was solid from the baseline, winning 60 per cent of points on his second serve.

–Ajit Weekly News

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