MONTREAL – Canadian Philip Bester lost in straight sets to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg on Monday in the first round of the Rogers Cup men’s tournament in Montreal.
Bester, ranked 201st in the world, lost 6-2, 6-3 to No. 46 ranked Muller.
“I had good moments,” said Bester after the match. “I know that I’m capable of those moments. It was one of the matches I walked off trying to keep things in perspective. I didn’t think I played bad. Gilles came up with some big shots in big moments.”
Bester was hardly a match for Muller’s powerful serve, which consistently clocked in at over 205 kilometres per hour. Bester was plagued by unforced errors throughout and never managed to break Muller’s serve.
“He has a huge serve and he uses variety really well,” Bester said of Muller, who hit 13 aces. “I was in a few games there – I had my chances. It was definitely tough to get a read on his serve and I did my best to try to get back as many returns as I could.”
The North Vancouver, B.C., native was down 3-0 in the second set but made a late comeback, holding for serve on three occasions. The match lasted just over an hour.
“I feel good about my game despite the outcome of today’s match,” added the Canadian. “I would have loved to do better here. But next week’s another week.”
On the main court, Gael Monfils of France beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Monfils broke Fognini’s serve four times and finished with seven aces to Fognini’s three.
“I wanted to start off this tournament well,” said Monfils, who has yet to win a Grand Slam in his career. “It was not a great match, but I didn’t play bad. I was solid. I didn’t give away any points.”
The Frenchman will face Muller in the second round.
“I’m looking forward to that match because I’ve known him for a long time,” said the 28-year-old Monfils. “I know he’s a good player. He plays well. He’s very aggressive and has a good serve.”
Earlier on Monday, Vancouver’s Filip Peliwo lost to Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky in three sets.
Peliwo, ranked No. 526 in the world, lost 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to the 60th ranked Stakhovsky. Peliwo had two aces to Stakhovsky’s seven.
France’s Gilles Simon (ranked No. 11) defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi (No. 15) in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Sam Querrey of the U.S., got past Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
Spain’s Tommy Robredo (No. 22) needed three sets to beat fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez (No. 21), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Robredo will face third-ranked Andy Murray in the second round.
In doubles, Murray and India’s Leander Paes convincingly defeated Kevin Anderson and Jeremy Chardy in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco beat Tomas Berdych and Jack Sock in three sets while Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic downed Seppi and Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3.
Canadians Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil and Frank Dancevic were not in action on Monday.
The 10th ranked Raonic will meet Ivo Karlovic in the second round after the Croatian beat Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets on Monday, 6-4, 7-6.
Pospisil will take on Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu on Tuesday while Dancevic will face Spain’s Pablo Andujar in the first round.