Competing in the first ATP tournament on clay since Roland Garros 2017, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has drawn the most from his Marrakech wild card, toppling the 3rd seed and last year's finalist Kyle Edmund 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 29 minutes for already the 13th win of the season.
Fully recovered after a knee injury that had kept him off the court for seven months in 2018, Jo delivered another impressive performance, dropping 14 points in ten service games, facing only one break point and keeping the service games intact.
The pressure was entirely on Kyle and he couldn't deal with it, falling behind in a tight opener and suffering two breaks in set number two to send Jo over the finish line. The Frenchman fended off a break point at 2-2 in the first set with a well-constructed attack, with nothing to separate them in the remaining games and a tie break that was to decide a winner.
Tsonga wasted the first two set points at 6-4, the second one with a double fault, before converting the third at 7-6 after a wild forehand from Edmund that took all the momentum from him. Jo lost just three points on serve in set number two and broke Kyle in the fifth game, controlling the things on the court and securing a win with another break in game nine after a volley winner for the first notable result on clay since Lyon 2017 when he won the title.
The 4th seed Gilles Simon toppled Guido Andreozzi 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes, dominating on both serve and return to march into the quarter-final, the fourth in 2019. Gilles got broken only once and had the upper hand on the return as well, creating six break points and converting five to stay in front all the time.
They traded breaks in the opening two games and the Frenchman settled into an excellent rhythm after that, firing a forehand down the line winner for a break in game three, opening a 5-2 lead when Andreozzi sprayed a forehand error, suffering a break at love and allowing Gilles to serve for the set.
The better-ranked player took 12 of the last 13 points to clinch the first part of the match in style, holding at love a few minutes later for a 6-2. The Argentinian had to give serve away in the third game of the second set when Simon forced an error with a backhand down the line stroke, scoring another one at 3-1 and moving over the top with a hold at 15 in the eighth game for the place in the quarters.
Just like in Budapest last year, a qualifier Lorenzo Sonego will compete in the quarter-final following a 7-6, 6-3 triumph over Robin Haase in 100 minutes. The Italian lost serve twice and delivered three breaks to wrap up the win in straight sets, prevailing in the opening set tie break and saving his best tennis for set number two where he grabbed an early break to keep him all the time.
Taro Daniel toppled Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in an hour and 44 minutes, breaking his opponent five times to dominate in sets he won for the first quarter-final appearance since Winston-Salem last August.