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Gasquet, Tsonga Lead French Charge In Marseille

Marseille, France

Tsonga© Yohan Brandt - Open 13Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is chasing a third Marseille title.

Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sparked a French charge on Wednesday at the Open 13 in Marseille as they powered into the quarter-finals.

Top seed Gasquet defeated Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes, winning 76 per cent of his service points and converting three of his 11 break points. Gasquet, a two-time quarter-finalist in Marseille, is looking to reach his second final of the season after finishing runner-up in Montpellier (l. to Monfils) two weeks ago. 

Tsonga opened his title defence with a 7-6(4), 7-6(8) victory over Nikolay Davydenko. The Frenchman, seeded second, fired 19 aces and saved three of the four break points he faced to improve to a 4-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against former World No. 3 Davydenko.

World No. 10 Tsonga is looking to bounce back from a second-round loss last week in Rotterdam (l. to Cilic) by retaining his Marseille title. The 28 year old has a 16-4 event record, lifting the trophy in 2009 (d. Llodra) and again last year (d. Berdych).

Two more seeded French players advanced. No. 7 Julien Benneteau and No. 8 Nicolas Mahut both reached the second round, beating Jesse Huta Galung 6-1, 6-4 and Kenny De Schepper 7-6(2), 6-3, respectively. 

Michael Llodra recorded his first singles match win of the 2014 ATP World Tour season when the 2010 champion (d. Benneteau) defeated Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-6(2) in 87 minutes. Llodra, who also reached the 2009 (l. to Tsonga) and 2012 (l. to del Potro) finals, will now face fourth seed Andreas Seppi in the second round. 

Roberto Bautista Agut saved nine of 12 break points in a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Dustin Brown to set up a meeting against third seed Ernests Gulbis.

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