Fabio Fognini and Tommy Robredo were first round winners on the red clay of the Principality on a low key day at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.
Tenth seed Fabio Fognini rallied from a set and 5-2 down to beat Portugal's Joao Sousa, 5/7, 7/5, 6/4 and set up a second round clash with Roberto Baustista Agut after his 6/2, 6/2 win over Vasek Pospisil .
Eleventh seed Tommy Robredo had no such problems when he brushed aside qualifier David Goffin, 6/4, 6/1.
In other action, Czech Radek Stepanek set up a second round clash with three-time Monte-Carlo runner-up Roger Federer when he thrashed giant Croat Ivo Karlovic 6/1, 6/2.
Stepanek has been on the losing end 13 times against the Swiss, however, has registered two wins, both on clay. The Czech veteran also pushed Federer to three sets recently in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships.
Albert Montanes was rewarded with a second round clash with defending champion Novak Djokovic after he defeated Benoit Paire, 7/5, 4/6, 6/2 while there were also wins for Philipp Kohlschreiber, Pablo Andujar, Albert Ramos and Lukas Rosol.
The tournament moves into second gear today as some of the top seeds get down to business. 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov gets his campaign underway with a tricky first round clash against four-time ATP Tour winner and runner-up last week in Casablanca, Marcel Granollers. Dimitrov will be looking for a first win over Granollers on his third attempt.
Another runner-up from last week at the US Clay Court Championships, Nicolas Almagro also gets down to business today when he faces Paul-Henri Mathieu while 14th seed Kevin Anderson faces the unpredictable Gael Monfils.
In the pick of the first round matches Marin Cilic takes on Fernando Verdasco with the winner having a crack at Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka. Cilic has been in sparkling for this season with titles in Zagreb and Delray Beach while Verdasco arrives off the back of a 6th title last week at the US Clay Court Championships in Houston.
Second round action also begins today as defending champion Novak Djokovic begins his campaign against Albert Montanes, Tomas Berdych takes on Dmitry Tursunov, 2011 runner-up David Ferrer is in action against Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga plays Philipp Kohlschreiber.
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