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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tops Juan Monaco

MONACO -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France rallied to beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

The 12th-seeded Tsonga is looking for his first title of the year. He plays Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the second round.

Other winners included ninth-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain, No. 11 Viktor Troicki of Serbia and No. 13 Richard Gasquet of France.

Almagro cruised past countryman Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-3; Troicki beat Jean-Rene Lisnard of Monaco 7-6 (4), 6-1, and Gasquet beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

"I started this match very badly. There was a lot of tension. He was quite confident, very tough to play," said Gasquet. "I tried to stay calm, but it was very difficult because we played so many rallies. I stayed for three hours on the court."

Also, Florian Mayer of Germany beat 10th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in an error-filledmatch which saw numerous double faults and 13 breaks of serve, with Mayer breaking Youzhny seven times.

Mayer faces Frederico Gil of Portugal in the second round after he beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3.

top-ranked Rafael Nadal opens his bid for a seventh straight title Wednesday against the winner of Monday's later match between Frenchman Julien Benneteau and Finland's Jarkko Nieminen.