Verdasco survives Rochus scare
Fernando Verdasco battled back from one set down against Olivier Rochus to reach the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Number 13 seed Verdasco, the highest seed in action on Monday, started slowly before regrouping to beat his Belgian opponent 4-6 6-2 7-5 in two hours and 10 minutes.
The left-handed Spaniard, who was runner-up at the event in 2010, broke serve for the fourth time in the last game of the match to register his 11th win of the year.
Fellow seed Jurgen Melzer also advanced following a routine 6-2 7-5 triumph over Lukas Kubot, while French wildcard Paul-Henri Mathieu, ranked 352 after a long absence with a knee injury, crushed Donald Young 6-0 6-1 to leave the American winless in his last five events.
Australian Bernard Tomic also reached the second round by beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4 6-3 - his first win in three visits to the Monte Carlo Country Club.
World No 34 Philipp Kohlschreiber eased past French qualifier Guillaume Rufin 6-4 6-4, while Jarkko Nieminen beat fellow veteran Radek Stepanek 6-3 7-6 (7/3) to earn a second-round match against seven-time defending champion Rafael Nadal.