Monte Carlo – Richard Gasquet converted all six of his break points as he beat Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-0 on Monday, and Milos Raonic had 13 aces in a 6-3, 7-5 win against wild card Marco Cecchinato in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Raonic broke in the 11th game of the second set and quickly moved 40-0 up as he served for the match. Cecchinato saved two match points before the Italian sent a high backhand wide on the next point.
“I let myself fall into a little bit too much of a defensive pattern where I was playing a little too far back,” Raonic said. “It didn’t allow me to use my game to dictate. I was a little bit more reactive rather than proactive.”
Although his big-serving game is more effective on quicker surfaces, the 10th-seeded Canadian thinks the slower clay still suits his game.
“It gives me time,” said Raonic, who lost to Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals here two years ago. “It allows me to stay ahead if you treat it the right way.”
Raonic will play either Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5