ATP Montpellier: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downs Ugo Humbert. Ivo Karlovic loses


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ATP Montpellier: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga downs Ugo Humbert. Ivo Karlovic loses

The 6th seed Jeremy Chardy needed just 46 minutes to dismiss a lucky loser Adrian Maceiras-Menendez 6-1, 6-1 and score his fifth ATP win of the season. The Spaniard had to play two matches on the same day and he had nothing left in the tank for this clash after an earlier loss to Antoine Hoang, winning just six points on the return and suffering five breaks from seven chances he offered to Chardy.

The Frenchman was untouchable on both serve and return, rattling off 11 games in a row and sealing the deal soon after that thanks to a magnificent performance in set number two, winning 25 out of 32 points to secure the place in the second round.

Playing against each other for the fifth time, Marcel Granollers toppled the Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in just two hours and ten minutes, making it one of the fastest three-tie-break matches of the season and the past couple of years.

Ivo blasted 27 aces and he never faced a break point, wasting two chances on the return and hitting the exit door in a very tight enclosure just like many times throughout his career. Marcel played better behind the second serve, winning eight points more than Ivo and prevailing 7-5 in the deciding tie break to book the place in the second round.

Marcel saved those two break points with service winners in the seventh game of the opener before taking the tie break 7-3 after a double fault from Ivo. The returners won just 17 points on the return in set number two and this time it was Karlovic who played better in the decisive moments, overcoming a 4-2 deficit in the tie break to close it 7-5 after a smash winner, prolonging the encounter and his chances.

Both players served even better in set number three, with just 11 points against the servers and inevitable deciding tie break. There, Marcel forced a volley error from Ivo in the tenth point and he crossed the finish line with a service winner at 6-5 to prevail and reach the last 16 where he will face the 3rd seed Denis Shapovalov.

In the match of the day, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took down a fellow Frenchman with a wild card Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes for his seventh win in Montpellier where he played in the semi-final three times.

They fired almost 40 aces and it was Tsonga who delivered some amazing numbers behind the first serve, winning 44 out of 48 points and facing just three break points. He got broken once in the opener but took charge after that, winning the second set tie break 7-5 and prevailing with an early break in the decider.

Ugo made a perfect start of the match, winning 12 of the first 14 points and racing into a 5-2 lead before closing the set with a hold at love in game nine for a 6-3. There were no breaks of serve in set number two despite six break chances and Jo made a crucial mini-break at 5-5 before sealing the set with a volley winner in the following point to deliver the final set.

A left-handed youngster wasted three game points in the opening game and he netted a backhand to suffer a break, having no chances to pull in the back in the rest of the encounter. Humbert saved a match point in the ninth game with a solid attack but that was all he could do, with Tsonga wrapping up the win with a hold at 15 a few minutes later for another important win on the comeback trail. Monday's results:

Final qualifying round results: 
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs Alexey Vatutin (RUS) 6-4 6-4
[7]Antoine Hoang (FRA) vs [2]Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 7-5 6-3
[3]Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) vs [5]Quentin Halys (FRA) 6-2 6-3
[6]Matthias Bachinger (GER) vs [4]Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 6-3 6-4
First round results: 
Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 7-6(5)
[WC]Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [WC]Ugo Humbert (FRA) 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4
[6]Jeremy Chardy (FRA) vs [LL]Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 6-1 6-1