Stepanek awaits Murray in Monte Carlo
Andy Murray will meet Radek Stepanek in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters after the Czech came from behind to beat Marcos Baghdatis.
Third seed Murray, who has a first-round bye, will hope his lack of match practice will not count against him when he meets Stepanek, who survived a gruelling three-set encounter in the Monaco sunshine, winning an exhausting tiebreak to earn a 3-6 6-1 7-6(7) victory.
Tenth seed Mikhail Youzhny was the first major casualty as he was sent crashing out of the first round by Germany's Florian Mayer.
The world No. 14 was left to rue 49 unforced errors as he found himself on the wrong end of a 6-2 2-6 6-3 scoreline as the German world No. 35 sealed his place in the second round, where he will meet Portuguese qualifier Federico Gil, who beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets.
Richard Gasquet had to battle from a set down to beat Denis Istomin 5-7 6-3 6-4. Istomin took the opening set, but struggled with an ankle injury as the Frenchman sealed his place in the second round with a win, but the former world No. 7 was far from his best.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga joined his fellow Frenchman in the second round, but the former Australian Open finalist needed three sets to battle past Juan Monaco 4-6 6-3 6-2, while Marin Cilic eased past Filipo Volandri 6-2 6-2.
Nicolas Almagro led the Spanish contingent at the Monte Carlo Country Club. Almagro eased past compatriot Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-3, while Tommy Robredo and Daniel Gimeno-Traver enjoyed victories over Ivan Dodig and Santiago Giraldo respectively.
Nikolay Davydenko's bid to return to the top ten hit another setback when he was sent packing by Robin Haase 7-5 4-6 6-4.