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PARIS (Reuters) - Gael Monfils was sent packing in the first round of the Paris Masters on Monday when he slumped to a 2-6 7-6(7) 6-4 defeat by fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire. Monfils, the world number 20, seemed to be cruising towards a straightforward victory in the renovated Bercy Hall after opening up a 6-2 4-0 lead. But then he lost focus.
Paire forced a tiebreak, which he won 9-7, and broke decisively in the ninth game of the third set, finishing it off on his first match point with an ace. Next in line for Paire is another Frenchman, Gilles Simon. Young talents Bernard Tomic of Australia and Dominic Thiem of Austria both advanced to the second round, where they will meet fourth seed Stan Wawrinka and 11th seed Kevin Anderson respectively. World number one Novak Djokovic will open his title defense on Tuesday in a second-round match against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows