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Tsonga, Mahut Win Metz Openers

Metz, France

Mahut© A. Briand - Moselle OpenNicolas Mahut records a first-round win.

Two-time defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made a welcome return to the singles court Wednesday at the Moselle Open, reaching the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Tsonga is looking to make up ground in the Emirates ATP Race To London, having dropped to the 10th position after missing nearly three months of the season with a left knee injury. He made his first appearance since Wimbledon on Monday, when he teamed up with countryman Nicolas Mahut for a first-round doubles win.

In his singles opener, the top seed won 86 per cent of his first serve points and capitalised on three of five break points to claim his 275th career victory in 69 minutes.

Tsonga will next face in-form German Tobias Kamke, who rallied past Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 38 minutes. Kamke won the ATP Challenger Tour title in Petange last week (d. Mathieu).

On his 10th appearance at the Moselle Open, Mahut opened his campaign with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over Leonardo Mayer in just under two hours. The Frenchman snapped a three-match losing run as he claimed his 14th win of the season.

The 31-year-old Mahut is chasing his third ATP World Tour title of the season, having won the first two trophies of his career on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Wawrinka) and Newport (d. Hewitt). He goes on to challenge third-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi for a quarter-final spot.

Fifth seed Benoit Paire was unable to join Mahut in the second round, as he lost to German Benjamin Becker 6-3, 7-5. Becker next meets another Frenchman, wild card Albano Olivetti, who prevailed against German qualifier Mischa Zverev 7-5, 7-6(3).

Fourth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber will face Carlos Berlocq in his opening match after the Argentine dismissed Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-4.

Sixth seed Sam Querrey was granted a place in the quarter-finals when his opponent, Paul-Henri Mathieu, retired with a right leg injury. Querrey was leading the second-round contest 6-2.

Murray/Peers Upset In Opener
Third seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers were beaten in the first round, losing to Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen 6-4, 7-6(2). The 27-year-old Murray won the Metz title two years ago with Andre Sa (d. Dlouhy/Melo). 

Meanwhile, second seeds Julian Knowle and Marcelo Melo defeated the wild card French pairing of Jeremy Chardy and Marc Gicquel 6-4, 6-3 and fourth-seeded Germans Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich advanced with a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Tomasz Bednarek and Oliver Marach.

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