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Tsonga among early winners at Japan Open

  |   Sept. 30, 2013 at 7:23 AM
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TOKYO, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- No. 2-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated French countryman Gael Monfils in a first-round match Monday at the Rakuten Japan Open tennis tournament.

Tsonga improved to 4-1 lifetime versus Monfils, who has managed to win just two sets in the series, with a 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) win in Tokyo. Tsonga didn't allow Monfils a break opportunity.

The only break in the match allowed Tsonga to claim the first set and he won the tight second set, in which he won one more point (46-45) than Monfils, by claiming 69 percent of the points on serve.

Sixth-seeded Nicolas Almagro edged Benjamin Becker 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) in a match in which there were no breaks. Almagro was especially sharp on serve, taking 87 percent of the points when serving and losing eight service points in 12 games and the two tiebreakers.

In other matches, Alexandr Dolgopolov stopped Daniel Brands 6-3, 6-1, losing 13 points over his eight games serving, and Jarkko Nieminen defeated Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 with five breaks.

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