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Monfils advances, Wang upsets Venus on French Open’s day 1

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French veteran Gael Monfils survived a first round test in defeating his 19-year-old compatriot, Elliot Benchetrit 3/6; 6/1; 6/2; 6/1 on the opening day of the French Open at the Suzanne Lenglen Court.

On the same arena, however, ninth seeded Venus Williams suffered an upset in losing to China’s Qieng Wang 6/4; 7/5, to the delight of her countrymen six time zones away.

The youthful Elliot won the first set from the popular star and the match portended a positive result in the challenge by the next generation of players. Elliot, from Nice, is ranked 302 in the world and benefited from a wild card to enter the main draw.

Monfils drew on his experience and took the second set 6/1 in less than 35 minutes. When he took the third set by a slightly better margin, the resolve of the upstart weltered and as he lost the fourth 6/1. Monfils’ big serve registered with an average speed of 210 km while Elliot clocked 201.

Monfils committed seven double faults to his opponent’s five. They were almost even in outright winners but Benchetit made 66 unforced errors, as the match progressed, especially from the second set.

At the end, Monfils tallied a total of 118 points to 84 for the opponent.

Venus lost the first set on a single break. Starting serving in the second, she held quickly, indicating resurgence. She took the second game by breaking her opponent’s serve and consolidated to lead 3-0.

In the fourth game, Wang, ranked 85 in the world, held her serve, but Venus could not convert it and proceeded to lose and the score even at three games apiece.

In the crucial seventh game, Venus used her powerful serve and hold for a 4-3 lead. However, her opponent leveled at four-all.

Wang achieved the decisive break of serve to win the 11th game. Serving for the match, she took the first two points to lead 30-0 and prevailed in a long rally to reach match point.

She held her service game to take the set 7-5. The match was close in all departments. Venus delivered four aces to Wang’s two, but double-faulted four times to a single occasion by her opponent.


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