With Simon serving for match, Djokovic rallies to survive opener

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Novak Djokovic edged Gilles Simon, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. (AP)

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) — Back on court for the first time since the birth of his son, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was upset by a qualifier in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Tsonga lost to fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 in the first big tournament of the clay-court swing.

Novak Djokovic, playing his first match on clay since winning the French Open last year, was kept on court for more than 2 ½ hours by Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Back from an elbow injury, Djokovic looked a bit rusty and made a flurry of unforced errors, but the two-time champion prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to move into the third round.

Simon broke for 5-4 in the decider with a forehand down the line, but Djokovic won the next three games and sealed victory when his opponent sent a forehand long on match point.

No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas joined Djokovic in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Joao Sousa.

A two-time semifinalist at the Country Club, Tsonga had not played since losing his opening match to Fabio Fognini at Indian Wells in early March. Tsonga then took time off following the birth of his first child, Shugar, on March 18.

The 10th-ranked Tsonga led 3-0 in the first set, but then struggled with the good mix of baseline shots and slices from Mannarino.

Mannarino broke Tsonga six times and will next face Lucas Pouille or Paolo Lorenzi.

Pouille advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Ryan Harrison and Lorenzi defeated Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-4.

Veteran Tommy Haas, the oldest player in the draw at 39, ousted Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 to set up a meeting with ninth-seeded Tomas Berdych in the second round.

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