Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Benoit Paire have mad skills.Source:TwitterPerhaps inspired by their countrymen’s World Cup win in Russia last year — and the bright start made by their women in France — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Benoit Paire showed off their own foot skills at the Halle Open  Paire lost his racquet after a serve early in the second set of their match and chose to continue the rally with a left-footed volley  Not to be outdone, Tsonga controlled the ball with his chest, played it back up once with his right and sent it back Paire’s way And it kept going.  The incredible display stole the show in Tsonga’s 6-4 7-5 win that set up a second round clash against Roger Federer  “I am happy to have won because Benoit is a dangerous player. It is always difficult to dominate against him, you always feel like the game can change at any moment,” Tsonga told AFP  The Frenchman next faces Federer and can boast of a perfect record against the Swiss on grass, having won their only meeting on the surface in 2011  Federer began his run-up to Wimbledon with a straight sets win against Australia’s John Millman Federer won his first grass-court game of the season 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 on a muggy evening in Halle  “It is always important to win your first game on grass, because otherwise the grass season can be very short,” said Federer  Last year’s winner Borna Coric eased to a 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 win over Spain’s Jaume Munar in his first-round tie, while home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff beat Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-4 to claim his first ever singles victory in Halle  “I used to live nearby. I would come here every year and lose, so it is great to have finally won,” said Struff  There was to be less joy for the Halle crowd as Germans Mats Moraing, Peter Gojowczyk and Rudolf Molleker were all knocked out On top of that world number five and rising star Alexander Zverev pulled out of the doubles tournament with a knee problem  Zverev, who hurt his knee during a first-round win over Robin Haase, remains in the singles draw and is due to face American Steve Johnson  — with AFP

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Dennis Veasley

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