Paris, Oct 28 (IANS) Number six seed Kei Nishikori will be the sole singles player representing Asia in the BNP Paribas Paris Masters as two other Asian players - Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan - were knocked out in the first round of the tournament. Both Lu and Istomin lost their opening matches to local players Monday. Lu was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by Julien Benneteau and Istomin, trailing 7-6 (4), 2-6, 0-4, retired with a knee injury to send Richard Gasquet through.
The 31-year-old Lu, silver medallist at the 2014 Asian Games, came in off the back of a second-round appearance in Valencia, but was overshone here by the French Open men's doubles winner Benneteau, who had more second return winners.
It took Gasquet over two hours to claim victory against Istomin, the 55th-ranked Uzbek who was forced to retire with a sore knee.
With the top 16 seeds having byes in the first round, Benneteau will play Britain's eighth-seed Andy Murray next while Gasquet takes on 11th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.
Among other eight clashes played earlier Monday, German Philipp Kohlschreiber made short work of French player Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-3, 6-1, to secure a second round spot against defending champion Novak Djokovic, who's expecting a tough opening game.
"It's definitely a tough draw," said World No.1 Djokovic in a pre-tournament interview.
"I will just try to kind of pay attention to what I need to do. I expect a tough one, definitely."Published 28 Oct 2014, 15:12 IST