Jo Wilfried Tsonga returns to victory in Montpellier
MDP Live - Playing at home, Jo Wilfried Tsonga bagged his first ATP tournament win since March 2021 at the Open Sud de France, Montpellier.
The former world number 5 put in quite an impressive display as he beat Polish qualifier Kacper Zuk 6-4, 6-4 in the Open Sud de France, his first ATP tournament of the season.
The victory at the ATP level 250 tournament is also the second victory for the host player in an ATP tournament since the 2019 season. The 36-year-old has only played two matches in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a fairly chronic back condition.
Last season Wilfried Tsonga was 1-8, but has not competed since Wimbledon due to a right foot injury.
"It's amazing for me to be here on this court to play," said Wilfried Tsonga after winning on Patrice Dominguez Court.
"I've had a few difficult months and to win like this for my first game of the season, it's been fantastic for me."
“You can't do it without the people around you. I have had the opportunity to be with amazing people around me, and that gives me the opportunity to live moments like these."
Against 23-year-old Zuk, the hosts broke in the last game of each set to secure victory. In the first set, he took the lead with an early break only to see world number 172 Zuk break it at 40/0.
The flow of the match was reversed again in the tenth game after the hosts won the last five points from 0/40.
In the second set, both players held on with their respective serves until the home player made a crucial breakthrough on the third match point opportunity before coming out victorious.
The home tennis player finished with seven aces and won 90 percent of the points from her first serve.
Waiting for Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the Open Sud de France is fifth seed Filip Krajinovic who beat Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-5 7-6.
The host's Gilles Simon also advanced to the second round of the Open Sud de France after beating compatriot Lucas Pouille 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 and will next face second seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Another host, Pierre Hugues Herbert cruised to a 7-5, 6-2 win over Germany's Peter Gojowczyk and will take on sixth seed Alexander Bublik.