French trio Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon advance in Antwerp

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates

Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his first match since February as he beat Guido Pella in the first round of the European Open.

The Frenchman underwent knee surgery in April and made his comeback at the Moselle Open in September, but fell at the first hurdle.

He returned to action in Belgium on Tuesday and fared much better as he secured a 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) win over Argentine Pella in two hours and 20 minutes.

It will be an all-French affair in the second round as Tsonga will meet compatriot Gael Monfils.

The sixth-seeded Monfils had a much easier day at the office as he dropped only three games en route to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Ruben Bemelmans.

Gilles Simon joined his compatriots in the second round with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Albert Ramos Vinolas booked a date with top seed Kyle Edmund as he beat Stephane Robert 6-4, 6-4 while Belarusian Ilya Ivashka upset eighth seed Robin Haase 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (10-8).

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