The 31st-ranked American, who is seeded sixth in Metz, got off to a slow start but managed to force a tiebreaker in the second set and pull through in the only first round match of the day.
Tsonga, currently number eight in the ATP world rankings, suffered a left knee injury during Wimbledon that forced him to withdraw.
Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France began the defense of his Moselle Open title with a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win against countryman Clement Reix in the second round on Wednesday.
American James Blake beat French wild-card Albano Olivetti 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Monday despite giving up 19 aces in the first round of the Moselle Open.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in the final of the Moselle Open on Sunday to win his first title since 2009.
Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic fired 26 aces Saturday to edge Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) and reach the final of the Moselle Open.
Third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine rallied from a set down to beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 Wednesday and reach the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open.