Tsonga, Murray move on to second round
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Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought back after a disastrous first set to qualify against fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, while Britain's Andy Murray eased into the second round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Russia's Dmitry Tursunov.
Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recovered from a first set white-wash to beat French compatriot Nicolas Mahut in the first round of the Hamburg Masters Series here on Monday.
And Britain's number one Andy Murray also moved into the second round with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory over Russia's Dmitry Tursunov.
Tsonga got off to a rusty start, winning just 12 of 40 points in the first set, but bounced back to record a 0-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 win after one hour and 55 minutes.
The 23-year-old roared back to hit five aces and won 33 of his 39 first-service points in the second and third sets as he vastly improved his game.
"Nicolas was better than me in the first set," said the number 14 seed.
"He put me under pressure at the back of the court and I had to fight.
"I was battling against myself in my head, I had an idea that I would be the winner and it pulled me through.
"I feel good on clay, I can play well on this surface, but it takes time to adjust, it's not like you can just snap into it.
"With more experience I will do better."
Since his Australian Open final appearance earlier in the year when he lost to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, Tsonga says he is now treated differently on the ATP tour.
"All the players see me differently and the games seem to be more difficult," he said.
"They all know that I can play well and they all do their best against me, they raise their games and make life hard for me."
Tsonga will be able to test his theory further when he meets either Russian Igor Andreev or Robin Soderling of Sweden in the second round.
Later Murray broke Tursunov early in the match and, despite missing a break point at 5-3, served out the first set and dominated the second.
Murray, who turns 21 on Thursday, is still finding his game on clay, but used his lob shot and drop shot to see off the Russian.
"It was a good win," said Murray.
"He's a tough guy to play, he's very unpredictable.
"It was important to get on top and stay on top, because when he gets going he can really play."
The Scotsman, seeded 15th, booked a second-round meeting with Frenchman Gilles Simon and is on course to meet clay-court king and French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the third round.
"I feel I can play well enough to beat Simon, I just need to keep the focus and concentrate, then I'll have a good chance of a win," added Murray.
Spaniard Fernando Verdasco caused an early upset when he beat 10th-seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia for a place in the second round.
Verdasco hit six aces and won 23 of 30 first-service points to beat Youzhny, ranked 13th in the world, 6-3, 6-2 in 77 minutes.
This was Youzhny's third straight first round exit from Hamburg and Verdasco will next meet either Argentine Guillermo Canas or Michael Llodra of France in the second round.
Earlier, Argentine twelfth seed Juan Monaco made the second round after Italy's Filippo Volandri retired with a knee injury after less than an hour of their game.
Monaco will next meet recent Munich finalist Simone Bolelli of Italy, who beat Spanish qualifier Marcel Granollers 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 33 minutes.
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