Paire's 14 aces not enough as he loses to Lorenzi in Paris
PARIS (AP) Benoit Paire's 14 aces were not enough as Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi beat the Frenchman 6-4, 7-6 (4) Monday in the first round of the Paris Masters.
Both players won more than 80 percent of their first serve points, but Lorenzi proved more clinical. He took his only chance on Paire's serve in the first set and saved the one break point he faced in the second.
The 34-year-old Lorenzi plays 16th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the second round, having lost their only previous meeting on clay at last year's Rome Masters.
Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain downed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-1 to record his third straight win against the Italian. He next faces fourth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada, who is still feeling the effects of an ankle injury that forced him to withdraw ahead of his China Open semifinal three weeks ago.
Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus won 6-2, 6-4 against Paul-Henri Mathieu, breaking the Frenchman's serve four times.
Baghdatis, an Australian Open finalist 10 years ago, next plays 14th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
American Steve Johnson had eight aces in a 6-4, 7-5 win against Guido Pella of Argentina, setting up a match against 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France.
Joao Sousa of Portugal saved all six chances on his serve as he beat Italian Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4, while German Jan-Lennard Struff did not concede a single chance on his serve in a 6-1, 6-1 win against Illya Marchenko, breaking the Ukrainian's serve five times.
Spaniard Fernando Verdasco was up 6-2, 3-2 against Robin Haase when the Dutchman retired with a left hip injury.
Verdasco next faces second-ranked Andy Murray, who will move top of the world rankings if he wins the tournament and Novak Djokovic does not reach the final.
Djokovic, whose 66 career titles include a record 30 in Masters tournaments, is chasing his fourth straight title in Paris and fifth overall.
The Serb opens against either Nicolas Almagro of Spain or Gilles Muller, who play their first-round match late on Tuesday.
Djokovic leads Almagro 4-0 and Muller 3-0 in career meetings, while Murray is 11-1 against Verdasco.
In Monday's evening session, Gilles Simon was facing Julien Benneteau in an all-French match and Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas played Frenchman Stephane Robert.