Monfils Beats Daniel & The Sunset At Roland Garros

No light? No problem for Gael Monfils.

The No. 14 seed beat Japanese Taro Daniel and the Parisian sunset on Tuesday at Roland Garros, advancing to the second round at his home Grand Slam for the 12th time with a 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

When Monfils and Daniel walked on Court Philippe-Chatrier just short of 8 p.m. local time, it appeared they would need to resume play on Wednesday. But Monfils sped through the opening-round match, striking 38 winners to just 24 unforced errors in his one-hour, 41-minute triumph that ended at 9:33 p.m.

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The No. 1 Frenchman, a 2008 semi-finalist and two-time quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, has enjoyed a resurgent 2019 after struggling in parts of last season due to injury. Monfils claimed his eighth ATP Tour title in Rotterdam, and recently held two match points against Roger Federer in Madrid before falling in a third-set tie-break. In the next round, he will face countryman Adrian Mannarino, who finished his 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia just moments after Monfils.

In the second set, it appeared Daniel might even the match after breaking in the first game and increasing his aggression at points. But in the key moments, Monfils was able to raise his level another notch, showing his incredible athleticism with dogged defence and rapid covering of the net to take a two-sets lead.

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But Monfils was not content with that, locking in even more in the decider, especially on serve (11/11 first-serve points won), to move through in the nick of time. Monfils' only first-round loss at Roland Garros came on his debut in 2005, when he was 18.

Mannarino, on the other hand, is through to the second round in Paris for only the third time on his 11th appearance. Mannarino leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1, including a five-set win at Wimbledon in 2017.