Montreal: French ninth seed Gilles Simon levelled his record at the ATP Montreal Masters to 8-8 as he opened with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Italy`s Andreas Seppi on Monday.
Simon, a semi-finalist in Canada in 2008 at Toronto, spent just under 90 minutes in advancing to the second round in the major tune-up event ahead of the August 31 start of the US Open.
The world number 11 was joined as a winner by Sergiy Stakhovsky, who beat Canadian wild card Filip Peliwo 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to set up a meeting with former champion Rafael Nadal in the second round.
The Ukrainian lost in the first round in his last Canadian appearance in 2012. Nadal won his only match with Stakhovsky in Davis Cup two years ago.
Top seed Novak Djokovic will play his opening match, after the bye given to the leading eight seeds, when he faces Thomaz Bellucci after the Brazilian worked for two and three-quarter hours to get past Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4).
The South American fired 14 aces in victory while holding Cuevas to 11, with Bellucci forced to save nine of 12 break points.
Djokovic, who has not touched a racquet since beating Roger Federer for the Wimbledon title a month ago, will start in Canada with a 48-3 record that includes six titles in 2015, including the Australian Open crown.