Well-behaved Paire sails through Toronto opener

France’s Benoit Paire in action. (AFP pic)

TORONTO: Benoit Paire reined in his fearsome temper on Monday to earn a straightforward first-round win at the Toronto Masters after a costly outburst on court last week.

The volatile 55th-ranked Frenchman advanced over American Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-4 to set up a showdown with top seed Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard holds a 3-0 record in the series, last defeating Paire in the Roland Garros first round in 2017.

Paire exploded in anger last week during a first-round Washington loss to Marcos Baghdatis, destroying three racquets and earning a massive fine of US$16,500 (14,300 euros).

Nadal leads the draw with holder Alexander Zverev, the weekend champion in Washington, the second seed.

Roger Federer is skipping the event during the week of his 37th birthday and will return next week in Cincinnati at his only scheduled tune-up event prior to the US Open.

Canadian Peter Polansky reached the second round for a third straight year, defeating Australian Matt Ebden 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

As in 2017, when he ran into Federer after winning his home opener, the world number 121 will again face a Grand Slam champion, taking on 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic, seeded sixth.

Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka extended his run of weekend success as he beat Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-3.

The top eight seeds have byes into the second round.