ATP Lyon Open Day 4 Predictions Including Denis Shapovalov vs Ugo Humbert

Lyon Open

Day four at the Lyon Open in southern France will see the completion of the second round. A number of high profile names including young gun Denis Shapovalov and former-French #1 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are set to battle for a place in the quarterfinals. But who will come out on top?

ATP Lyon Open Day 4 Predictions

Denis Shapovalov vs Ugo Humbert (first on Court Central)

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov may not have quite enjoyed the start to the clay-court season he was hoping for, suffering a number of early exits. The most recent came in Rome, where he lost a one-sided match in the second round to world #1 Novak Djokovic. But he did score an impressive straight-sets win over Pablo Carreno Busta in the first round at the Italian Open and, thanks to his power from the back of the court, he can never be entirely discounted.

But he will need all of that power in his first meeting with Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who demolished Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-1 6-3 in the first round. Backed vocally by the Lyon Open crowd, Humbert played some fine tennis, keeping Norrie uncomfortable and on the back foot with some fine all-court play. Norrie, however, is far from at his best on a clay court and lacks the sort of standout weapons that Shapovalov possesses. The Canadian’s forehand is a particularly effective weapon on the clay and expect it to tip the balance of this contest in his favour.

Prediction: Shapovalov in three
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Richard Gasquet vs Taylor Fritz (second on Court Central)

In a battle between experience and youth, former-world #7 Richard Gasquet will take on the USA’s Taylor Fritz in the first head-to-head battle between the pair. Gasquet was pushed to the limit in his first-round victory over his countryman Maxime Janvier, saving two match points before claiming a narrow 6-7 6-2 7-6 win. How much he will have left in the tank after his exertions is questionable, though he will surely have benefited from a day of rest on Tuesday. Fritz, meanwhile, claimed a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 victory over Jiri Vesely to reach the second round.

Gasquet at his best is a hard player to live with thanks to his excellent backhand, which surely still ranks amongst the best one-handers in the game, and terrific feel. However, he seems to have lost a step in recent years and his forehand and serve remain weaknesses that can be exploited. Fritz, who possesses admirably solid groundstrokes, is not a natural clay-courter, but he continues to improve on the surface. If he can keep Gasquet moving and target the Frenchman’s forehand, expect him to wear down the veteran in the long run.

Prediction: Fritz in three
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Steven Diez (third on Court Central)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, once a top ten stalwart, has been badly affected by injuries in recent seasons. But, as his 7-6 6-4 win over fifth seed and Monte Carlo runner-up Dusan Lajovic shows, he is still a force to be reckoned with when he is fit. He will surely like his chances against the Canadian qualifier Steven Diez, ranked 262nd in the world, who claimed the first ATP main draw win of his career in the first-round when Bernard Tomic retired trailing 1-6 1-4. He had earlier beaten Alexei Popyrin and Quentin Halys, both in three sets, to come through the qualifying.

He is clearly not short of heart then. But will he have the quality to resist the power that Tsonga can bring to the court? The Frenchman’s serve and forehand remain a combination capable of challenging even the very best in the game nor has skill at the net diminished, though he is not the athlete he once was and his backhand remains a troubling weakness. Nonetheless, cheered on by the French crowd, expect Tsonga, who won the inaugural Lyon Open in 2017, to march on into the quarterfinals once again.

Prediction: Tsonga in two
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Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Tristan Lamasine (fourth on Court Central)

Top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili may have suffered a bruising 1-6 0-6 loss to the great Rafael Nadal in Rome, but do not allow that to detract from the fact that the Georgian has become an excellent touring professional. He claimed two ATP 500 level titles last season, including on the clay in Hamburg, and he can do real damage to opponents with both his forehand and backhand. Standing between him and a place in the quarterfinals is lucky loser Tristan Lamasine, in what will be the first meeting between the pair.

Lamasine, ranked 270th in the world, lost to Jannik Sinner in the final round of qualifying, but after a withdrawal granted him a place in the main draw, he took full advantage, avenging his defeat to the young Italian with a 6-0 7-6 win. However, impressive as that win was, Basilashvili presents a significant step up in class for Lamasine, who has played just six tour-level matches in his career. It has been a fine week for the 26-year-old Frenchman at the Lyon Open, but expect the power of Basilashvili to prove a challenge too far.

Prediction: Basilashvili in two

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