Monfils edges Anderson
The Frenchman is targeting a return to the top 10 after injury
Last Updated: 26/09/12 4:37pm
Gael Monfils: Secured victory over Kevin Anderson in the first round
Gael Monfils got his campaign off to a winning start in the first round of the Thailand Open on Wednesday, beating Kevin Anderson 6-4 2-6 7-5.
The 26-year-old Frenchman, who has endured a difficult summer due to injury, said that he was targeting a return to the top 10.
Monfils, who has been out with right knee trouble since May, reached the semi-finals in his comeback event last week in Metz.
He said being plagued with injury had given him a "new mindset" now that he is back in action.
The unseeded Monfils, now ranked 45, said: "It's really tough to focus again, that is the biggest thing. It was four tough months for me; I didn't know when I would be back on the court. That is tough on the mind.
"I've been in the top 10 and I'm motivated to be there again, it's a new start for me. I have new goals, a new mindset and mentality."
Monfils dealt with momentum shifts in his contest with South African Anderson, who had to play qualifying rounds despite his 35th ranking after forgetting to formally enter the indoor event on time.
The Frenchman claimed the opening set however he could not close out the quick win, with Anderson levelling the match at a set each.
"I have new goals, a new mindset and mentality. "
Gael Monfils Quotes of the week
In the third, they swapped breaks before Monfils broke again in the penultimate game with a phenomenal pass.
He closed out victory on his first match point a game later in just under two-and-a-half hours, through four breaks of Anderson's serve.
Monfils, who has 18 victories this season against eight defeats, concluded: "It was a long time that I didn't play. I need a lot more tennis. I played OK, but just enough to win today."
Also on Wednesday, world number nine Janko Tipsarevic powered his way into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory over Hiroki Moriya.
The Serbian player is one place outside reaching the ATP World Tour Finals in London with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga occupying the eighth and final spot.
The top seed made clear his intentions in his second-round clash in the Thai capital, dominating on his serve with eight aces as he went through 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes.
Japan's Go Soeda disappointed home fans with his defeat of Thai Danai Udomchoke 6-4 7-5, whilst Croatian Ivo Karlovic reached the second round as he beat Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-3 6-4.