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Cilic and Tsonga win in Rotterdam tennis

dpa logodpa 14/02/2017 Theo Katsaros

Marin Cilic survived a tough first round at the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat a wildcard to progress.

No.1 seed Marin Cilic got to work in patching up the tatters of his early season with a scratchy 5-7 6-3 6-2 win over Benoit Paire to reach the second round of the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament.

Cilic, a 2014 finalist, claimed only his second match victory of 2017 as he overcame a grumpy, racquet-tossing French opponent in two hours.

Paire was suffering with an apparent hamstring problem and tested the chair umpire's patience as he flirted repeatedly with racquet abuse.

Sixth seed and former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga solved the puzzle of an unknown teenaged opponent to progress 6-4 7-6 (7-2) against wildcard Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

The match was the 18 year-old former world No.1 junior's first ATP World Tour main draw event.

Tsonga next plays Sydney International champion Gilles Muller, who fired 14 aces in a defeat of Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 6-2.

There was first round successes for 2016 winner Martin Klizan of Slovakia over Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-4 0-6 6-1, last year's semi-finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber over eighth seed Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-2 and Gilles Simon in an all-French battle with Nicolas Mahut 3-6 6-3 6-4.

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