Tsonga kicks off title defence comfortably

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got the defence of his ATP Metz title off to a solid start with a regulation 6-3 6-3 win over fellow Frenchman Clement Reix.

Tsonga kicks off title defence comfortably

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (AFP)

Tsonga, the world number seven and top seed at the Moselle Open, needed just 79 minutes to dispatch his opponent and progress to the quarter-finals.

Having received a bye directly to the second round, the 27-year-old will now play either Jesse Levine of the US of Michael Berrer of Germany for a place in the semis at the event he won 12 months ago.

Tsonga is searching for just his second ATP title of the year, having failed to win a tournament since claiming victory at the Qatar Open in Doha in his first outing of 2012.

Since the inaugural Metz tournament in 2003, five French players have claimed the title: Arnaud Clement, Jerome Haehnel, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon and Tsonga.

In the only other second round match to be played on Wednesday, fourth seed Florian Mayer ousted former world number four James Blake 6-7(4) 6-3 6-4.

World number 14 and losing finalist in 2009 Philipp Kohlschreiber is the second seed at the tournament and he kicks off his campaign against Benoit Paire in Thursday's second round.

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