PARIS, October 31, 2016
Six players who have won ATP World Tour titles this season were in first round action on Monday at the BNP Paribas Masters, held inside the Accor Arena in Paris Bercy.
Winston Salem and Moscow champion Pablo Carreño Busta was first up on Court Central, taking out Umag winner Fabio Fognini with a 6-3, 6-1 victory. The 25-year-old Spaniard saved both break points he faced, converting four of his own to advance in only 52 minutes. It was the third win for Carreño Busta against the Italian in as many meetings between the two. He will next play fourth seed Milos Raonic of Canada.
Bucharest champion Fernando Verdasco benefited from the retirement of qualifier Robin Haase, leading 6-3, 3-2, as the Dutchman was suffering from a left hip injury. Verdasco thus proceeds to the second round, where he will face the tournament’s number two seed, Andy Murray. The Brit comes into Paris on a 15-match winning streak after clinching consecutive titles in Beijing and ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai and in Vienna on Sunday. Murray is trying to catch Novak Djokovic and reach No. 1 for the first time.
In the final match of the day, Båstad champion Albert Ramos-Viñolas of Spain ousted French veteran Stephane Robert, winning 6-1, 6-4 in 67 minutes to take on 11th favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next.
On Court 1, Nottingham champion Steve Johnson defeated Argentine Guido Pella 6-4, 7-5. The 26-year-old US-American sent down eight aces, saved both break points he faced, capitalizing on two of his own to reach the second round after 80 minutes of play. Next up for Johnson will be 12th seeded home favourite Richard Gasquet.
Kitzbühel champion Paolo Lorenzi beat Benoit Paire 6-4, 7-6. The 39-year-old Italian withstood 14 aces, hitting three of his own to celebrate his third win over the Frenchman in as many tour meetings between the two. The encounter lasted one houd and 25 minutes. Lorenzi will next play 16th seed Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay.