Tennis

Defending champ Del Potro, Murray advance at ABN tournament

Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro returns a ball to Gael Monfils.
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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP)

Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina returned after a month out with injury to advance to the second round of the ABN Amro tournament on Wednesday.

The defending champion beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (6), 6-3, while second-seeded Andy Murray of Britain dispatched Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also of France, 6-3, 6-3.

Making his first appearance since injuring his wrist a month ago, Del Potro had difficulty with his service games in the first set. Monfils served up 5 aces to zero and was also the first to take a mini-break in the tiebreaker, before he double-faulted and allowed Del Potro to reassert control.

In the second set, the Argentine was dominant, breaking Monfils' serve in the fourth game. The only hint of trouble came in the deciding game, when Monfils took Del Potro to two break points. But Del Potro saved both and went on to seal the victory.

"My wrist is getting better by the day and it was fine today against Monfils," he said. "It's always difficult to come back after an injury, but I hope I can hold on to this level of play."

Murray, who won the tournament in 2009, worked efficiently against Roger-Vasselin, winning in just under 90 minutes. The Wimbledon winner saved four break points, all in the second set.

Del Potro faces Paul Henri-Mathieu of France in the second round, while Murray plays Dominic Thiem of Austria.

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