ATP Metz: Gojowczyk spoils Tsonga's return. Humbert edges Tomic

Tennis - Nikoloz Basilashvili, Matthias Bachinger and Constant Lestienne have also reached the second round

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Metz: Gojowczyk spoils Tsonga's return. Humbert edges Tomic

The 33-year-old Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had played only two ATP tournaments prior to this week, competing in Melbourne and Montpellier before having to miss the next seven months due to a knee injury that required a surgery in May.

Jo is finally back on the court but he will need some time to gain the momentum and form, losing in the opening round of Metz against the defending champion Peter Gojowczyk 6-7 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 45 minutes. It was a great serving performance from both, firing 17 aces each, and despite defending his second serve in a more efficient way Jo failed to emerge as a winner, wasting all three break points he created and losing serve once in sets two and three to end his run in the opening round.

The first set lasted for just 40 minutes and it was a rapid fire on both sides, with short points and only three deuces and one break point that Jo had to save in the third game. Gojowczyk earned that break point after a huge forehand error from Tsonga but the Frenchman saved it with an ace, finding the range in the rest of the set to set up a tie break in no time at all.

There, Jo scored the only mini-break at 5-4 and he closed the set with a volley winner in the 12th point for the best possible return after such a long break. The German saved a break point in the third game of the second set and this proved to be the crucial moment of the match, as it would have been very tough for him to come back from a set and a break down.

He served well in the rest of the set and Tsonga failed to follow that pace, losing serve in game six to fall 4-2 down after a forehand forced error. Gojowczyk held at 15 in game nine to close the set 6-3 in less than 30 minutes and the match was wide open once again.

Jo wasted two break points in the fourth game of the decider and he had to dig deep on his serve at 3-3 when he repelled three break points with winners to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard. Nonetheless, Peter found the way to break him next time around after a deep return and he sealed the deal on own serve in game 10 with a volley winner to reach the second round. First round results:


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Nikoloz Basilashvili Matthias Bachinger Constant Lestienne