Del Potro battles through

  • Last Updated: April 16 2013, 19:27 BST

Juan Martin del Potro survived a scare to win at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters for the first time in his career.

Juan Martin del Potro: Survived a scare
Juan Martin del Potro: Survived a scare

The former US Open champion failed to taste victory in the main draw during his previous two visits to the principality and looked in danger of another early exit when he lost the opening set 6-1 to Alexandr Dolgopolov.

But the fifth seed roared back to eventually win 1-6 6-4 6-3 in two hours and book a place in the third round.

He was joined there by French duo Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as well as Philipp Kohlschreiber and upcoming Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who claimed the biggest scalp of the day.

The 21-year-old cast aside sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7/3) 6-1.

Tsonga was similarly untroubled against Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 while Gasquet recovered from a mid-match slip to beat countryman Benoit Paire 6-1 3-6 6-1.

Kohlschreiber, the 16th seed, made hard work of overcoming qualifier Pablo Andujar 6-2 2-6 7-6 (7/3).

With the top four all due in action tomorrow there were few upsets to reduce the quality of a strong field as preparations begin for next month's French Open.

Fernando Verdasco was an exception as Australian Marinko Matosevic set up a meeting with reigning eight-time champion Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3.

But it was otherwise plain sailing for the favoured players as seeds Nicholas Almagro (10), Stanislas Warwinka (13) and Juan Monaco (14) went through alongside the likes of Ernests Gulbis, Kevin Anderson, Jurgen Melzer and Gael Monfils, who is a wildcard entrant this week.

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