Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is now just one victory away from securing his 300th career win, after defeating Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round of the Italian Open in Rome on Monday.
The Frenchman came through some difficult moments to win the evening session match against his Ukrainian opponent 6-3, 7-5.
The 11th seed went into the match looking to rediscover some form after being surprisingly knocked out of the Madrid Open in the second round by Santiago Giraldo last week, but he would have put himself at ease when he raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening set.
Dolgopolov, ranked at 21 in in the world, did then manage to get a break back in the seventh game, before Tsonga eventually served it out.
It was much tighter affair in the second set, and it was settled by a tie-break after no breaks of serve.
Tsonga had to dig deep, as after saving three break points in the set, he then won four points in a row from being 3-5 down in the tie-break to seal the win.
Both players are now level at three wins apiece, and the contest on centre court was their first meeting since playing in the third round of the Madrid Masters in 2012, which Dolgopolov won in three sets.
The 29-year-old will aim to reach the milestone of his 300th win against either South African Kevin Anderson or Vasek Pospisil of Canada.
The world number 13 has reached the quarter-finals twice before at the clay court tournament in Rome, and he is looking to achieve his first ATP Masters Series title win since the Paris Masters in 2008.
Tsonga is yet to add to his 10 career singles titles in 2014, with his run to the final of the Open 13 in Marseille being his most successful tournament so far.
Dolgopolov has struggled to find the form that he showed earlier in the year, as he has failed to win back to back matches in any of his last four tournaments, which have all been played on clay, stretching back to his run to the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters in March.
He has won only two of his last six matches, which is a stark contrast to the three consecutive semi-finals he reached in February and March, losing in the final in Rio de Janeiro to Rafael Nadal before making the semi-finals in Acapulco and Indian Wells.
Tsonga could face Roger Federer in the quarter-finals should he get there.
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