Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got his European Open campaign off to flying start on Monday in Antwerp. In a battle of experience against youth, the sixth seed and 2017 champion defeated Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-4.
Tsonga scored the lone break of each set to advance in one hour and 20 minutes, improving to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Sonego. The 34-year-old has excelled indoors this year, picking up ATP Tour titles in Montpellier (d. Herbert) and Metz (d. Bedene). Tsonga will play fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon or Belgian Steve Darcis in the next round.
Fifth-seeded Argentine Guido Pella prevailed in a marathon 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(2) match with German Peter Gojowczyk. Pella improved to 3-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Gojowczyk and has won their past two matches. Next up for him is the winner of Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who prevailed here in 2016, and South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.