Germany:Second-seeded Novak Djokovic eased past Simone Bolelli 7-5, 6-2 in his season debut on grass on Tuesday to reach the second round of the Gerry Weber Open.
Fourth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced by beating Fabrice Santoro 7-5, 6-2.
Djokovic became the first player to win 40 matches this season after top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who has won 44.
The Serb lost his footing several times on the slippery grass.
In the final game of the opening set, Djokovic fell on his backside as he tried to reach a shot. He still produced a winner that gave him a set point. Bolelli fended it off, before giving up another and then sending a backhand into the net. Djokovic dominated the second set.
"He was going for his shots and I knew he had a big forehand. But he was struggling to hold serve and I took the opportunity," Djokovic said.
"I was playing quite well for a first match. Those first matches in a tournament are always difficult," Djokovic said. "I am coming from clay, where you slide a lot and have long rallies and you have to adjust on grass. I have to work on my movement."
Tsonga's match against his fellow Frenchman also produced some acrobatics.
Tsonga at one point dived for a ball and had to throw his racket to make the return. Tsonga rolled over, picked up the racket, rushed to the forehand side and continued the rally. He then raced back to the backhand side and tried to hit a winner down the line that was just wide.
In the end, Tsonga just had too much athleticism for Santoro, who is retiring at the end of the season.
"He served very well, he put me under pressure and he moved very well," Santoro said. "I didn't have a break point. I didn't do anything wrong, but nothing exceptional either."
In other first-round matches, seventh-seeded Juergen Melzer rallied to beat Arnaud Clement 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, Mischa Zverev ousted Joseph Sirianni 6-2, 6-4, and Olivier Rochus routed fellow qualifier Fernando Vicente 6-0, 6-0.