Former world No. 5 Jo-Wifried Tsonga was thrilled after beating Feliciano Lopez in the Marseille first round and winning his first match since November 2019.
Tsonga, who was limited to only two tournaments last year due to an injury, recovered from a set down to beat former world No. 12 Lopez 3-6 6-4 7-5 in Marseille.
Lopez broke Tsonga in the opening game of the match and then broke the Frenchman for the second time in the ninth game to claim the opener.
After easily losing the first set, Tsonga started the second set with a break and saved a break point in the eighth game before serving out for a decider in the 10th game.
The Frenchman then claimed the lone break of the third set in the 11th game, before serving out for the match a game later.
“This is probably one of the best victories of my career, because it was tough for me to play tennis. I had so much pain for so many months,” Tsonga said in an on-court interview, per the ATP website. “Today, I won one match. That was one of my goals for these few weeks… I’m happy like a kid.”
Tsonga keeps his perfect record against Lopez
Tsonga, 35, now leads the head-to-head against 39-year-old Lopez 6-0.
“Both of us, we are almost 80 years old together,” Tsonga joked. “I’ve known him for a long time and I have a lot of good memories with Feli… I’m really pleased that I won against him. For me it’s a good victory; he plays well indoors, he’s a lefty, he’s tall. I’m just happy today.”
Tsonga, now ranked at No. 66 in the world, plays next against fourth-seeded Ugo Humbert.
Tsonga has had success on the indoor hard courts of Marseille as he is a four-time finalist at the event.
Tsonga won three and lost one final in Marseille.