Frenchman Gael Monfils put on an impressive display of speed and skill to beat American Christopher Eubanks 7-6(3) 6-7(4) 6-1 to advance to the second round of the Canadian Open in Toronto on Monday.
After capturing the first set Monfils had match points while leading 6-5 in the second but Eubanks, who caught the attention of the tennis world when he made a run to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, was able to serve his way out of trouble to set up another tiebreak.
Eubanks battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set breaker and levelled the match with a perfectly executed serve and volley in the first meeting between the pair of popular players.
But Monfils broke Eubanks in the first game to jump out to an early lead he would not relinquish in the deciding set.
The point of the match came when the 36-year-old Monfils, who missed time this year with a wrist injury, raced down balls before pushing a passing shot past Eubanks for a 4-1 lead as fans leapt out of the seats and Monfils let out a triumphant roar.
Next up for Monfils is a second-round meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who enjoyed a first-round bye, at the Masters 1000 tournament.
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