PARIS: The Paris Masters got underway at a near-empty Bercy Arena on Monday amid France's second coronavirus lockdown, with former champion Karen Khachanov being knocked out in the first round.
Russian Khachanov was beaten 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 by Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Croatian Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, claimed an impressive win over Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, edging through to the second round 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.
Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez set up a second-round clash with top seed Rafael Nadal -- back in Paris just weeks after lifting a record-extending 13th French Open title -- by beating Serbian Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (13/11), 6-1.
On Tuesday, 9th seed Pablo Busta beat home wildcard Hugo Gaston 6-3, 6-2, 10th seed Milos Raonic beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-2, 12th seed Stan Wawrinka beat Dan Evans 6-3, 7-6, Richard Gasquet beat Taylor Fritz 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 while Alejandro Fokina stunned 11th seed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Tournament organisers had expected to welcome 1,000 fans a day to the event, but instead had to refund the tickets when French President Emmanuel Macron announced France would reenter lockdown last week. Agencies
Also Read: Sakshi Malik unhappy after Arjuna award snub