Florian Mayer of Germany beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (3), 6-3 Monday to reach the second round of the Open Sud de France.
The sixth-seeded Mayer saved seven break points in the first set to force a tiebreaker, then broke for a 3-1 lead in the second.
Mayer made his return from a hip injury that forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open.
Mayer enjoyed his best season last year, breaking into the top 20 for the first time and beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets at the Shanghai Masters.
French wild card Guillaume Rufin also advanced by defeating Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (6). The 209th-ranked Rufin won his first match in the main draw of an ATP tour event since last year's French Open.