Molcan Moves Past 'Legend' Tsonga In Lyon Opener
Frenchman Tsonga, who will retire after Roland Garros, lifted the trophy in Lyon in 2017 and reached the semi-finals in 2007 and 2008. However, the former World No. 5 was unable to match Molcan’s intensity in their first-round clash, suffering a 6-4, 6-4 defeat on home soil in one hour and 32 minutes.
World No. 47 Molcan enjoyed a run to the final in Marrakech in April and he played with confidence against Tsonga, using the drop shot effectively to set up a second-round meeting against fifth seed Karen Khachanov or French qualifier Gilles Simon.
"I am really happy I won today. It was a pleasure to play against Jo," Molcan said in his on-court interview. "He is a legend of the sport and I am really happy I could play him at least once in my career. I remember him playing, he was unbelievable. The emotions, everything."
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In an all-French meeting, Ugo Humbert snapped a three-match losing streak, downing qualifier Gregoire Barrere 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes to reach the second round In Lyon for the second time. The World No. 45 will next meet Australian Alex de Minaur.