Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made a winning return to tennis on Wednesday, beating fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open.
Sam Querrey of the US and Tobias Kamke of Germany also advanced to the last eight.
Tsonga was playing his first match since a troublesome left knee injury forced him to retire in the second round at Wimbledon and then pull out of the US Open.
“I’m very happy that my knee held up,” Tsonga told Sport Plus television. “I had a very good match. I didn’t expect to play so well today.”
The top-seeded Frenchman, who split with Australian coach Roger Rasheed last month, broke serve once in each set.
“Step by step, I’m raising my game,” he said. “I still choose the moments when I accelerate. In the next matches, I’ll have to accelerate more and more often.”
Tsonga will now meet Kamke, who rallied from a set and a break down to see off Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Kamke broke back at 3-2 in the second set and capitalized on four double faults from Fucsovics in the final set to win the last five games.
The sixth-seeded Querrey led 6-2 when his opponent, French wild-card Paul-Henri Mathieu, retired because of a thigh injury.
Querrey will play another Frenchman in the next round, either second-seeded Gilles Simon or Kenny De Schepper.
Carlos Berlocq of Argentina, Benjamin Becker of Germany and Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Albano Olivetti advanced to the second round with straight-set wins.
Berlocq, who won the Swedish Open in July, did not face any break points in his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, while Becker upset fifth-seeded Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 7-5.
Mahut beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 and wild-card Olivetti defeated Mischa Zverev of Germany 7-5, 7-6 (7/3).
Mahut won two titles in the summer and is enjoying his best season. He blew a 4-2 lead in the first set, but won the tiebreaker before breaking Mayer in the opening game of the second set.
Ranked 254th in the world, Olivetti fired a total of 20 aces.
ST PETERSBURG OPEN
AP, ST PETERSBURG, Russia
Janko Tipsarevic suffered an earlier exit at the St Petersburg Open than his third seeding promised, falling to Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 in the first round on Wednesday.
Tipsarevic, who won the decisive third point in Serbia’s Davis Cup semi-final win over Canada on Sunday, squandered seven break points in the second set against Bautista Agut, who broke the Serb twice and closed the match with a backhand down the line on his first match point.