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Tennis

Benoit Paire wins at Open Sud de France

Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Gael Monfils beat Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 in his home country to advance.

Eighth-seeded Benoit Paire took just 45 minutes to beat Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-0, 6-2 in the Open Sud de France first round on Tuesday.

The Frenchman had nine aces and did not face a break point. He used his powerful forehand to often force Menendez-Maceiras to the back of the court and broke the Spaniard's serve five times.

Paire amused himself in the last game with a half-volley played through his legs, which he followed up with a caressed drop shot. He sealed victory on his third match point when Menendez-Maceiras swatted a forehand wide.

"It was short and fun. I'm very motivated here. I made a good start to the year, but didn't have much luck at the Australian Open because I came up against Roger (Federer) in the first round," Paire said. "Indoors isn't necessarily my best service and maybe Menendez was a bit tired after his (qualifying) match yesterday, but I'm happy with my level. Steve Darcis is a very good player and I know it will be a very hard game."

Paire next plays Darcis of Belgium, who beat Adrian Mannarino of France 6-4, 7-6 (0).

There were also first-round wins for Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic, and Victor Hanescu of Romania.

Later on Tuesday, former champion Gael Monfils of France faced Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium and ninth-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu of France took on Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.

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