© J.B Autissier / Panoramic

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advances on Monday at the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga Up And Running In Montpellier

Former No. 5 to meet Simon in round two

Three-time semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame France's brightest #NextGenATP hope on Monday at the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga came back from a set down to eliminate 20-year-old Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in Montpellier. Tsonga broke Humbert at 5/5 in the second-set tie-break before evening the first-round contest.

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The 33-year-old, who's still on the comeback from knee surgery last April, broke in the opening game of the decider as well. Tsonga, No. 210 in the ATP Rankings, improved to 5-2 on the young season and will next meet fourth-seeded countryman Gilles Simon, who received a first-round bye.

Although Tsonga has reached three semi-finals in Montpellier, he has never played for the ATP Tour 250 title. Each time – in 2010, 2017 and 2018 – he's fallen in the semi-finals to the eventual champion.

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Countryman and sixth seed Jeremy Chardy routed lucky loser Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-1, 6-1 in only 47 minutes. Chardy will meet French qualifier Antoine Hoang or Belgian Steve Darcis in round two.

Marcel Granollers prevailed after three tie-break sets against Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who turns 40 on 28 February, 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-6(5). The Barcelona native next meets #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

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