With just four men left in contention at the Lyon Open the semifinal line-up is set. It includes both rising stars and established veterans, all of whom will surely be eager to secure the perfect preparation for the French Open by claiming the title in southern France. But who will book their place in Saturday’s final?
ATP Lyon Open Semifinals Predictions
Benoit Paire vs Taylor Fritz (second on Court Central)
In their third head-to-head meeting, home hope Benoit Paire will take on Taylor Fritz of the USA. Fritz won their first clash, which came at the US Open in 2017 in the first round, but Paire avenged that defeat with a 6-7 6-3 6-2 win in the first round in Stuttgart last season. Paire has impressed thus far, battling past Mackenzie McDonald in three before dismissing Pablo Cuevas. He then edged out third seed Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 in the last eight.
Fritz scored an impressive 7-6 7-5 win over Jiri Vesely in the first round before benefiting from sixth seed Richard Gasquet’s withdrawal. He then rallied past second seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 6-3 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Fritz cannot match Paire for power, with the Frenchman possessing one of the most effective two-handers in the sport and a big, if inconsistent serve. However, his groundstrokes are more solid and is the more mentally disciplined player. But Paire, backed by the home crowd, has looked a man on a mission so far this week. Expect him to prove too strong for the young American.
Prediction: Paire in three
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Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (third on Court Central)
The last two seeds remaining in the draw will face off when Nikoloz Basilashvili and Felix Auger-Aliassime take to the court. It will be their second meeting, with Auger-Aliassime having taken the first in straight sets earlier this season on his way to the Miami Open semifinals. Both men have played some fine tennis so far at the Lyon Open. Basilashvili has beaten Frenchmen Thomas Lamasine and former-world #5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, both in straight sets, whilst Auger-Aliassime saw off John Millman before ousting Steve Johnson of the USA in a gripping three-set battle in the quarterfinals.
Both come into the match with the firepower to do their opponent damage. Basilashvili can hit winners with both his forehand and backhand, and typically looks to play on the front foot from the outset. Auger-Aliassime is generally more measured in his approach, but his forehand, which he hits with heavy topspin, is a very useful weapon on the red clay. He is also a better server than the Georgian. But, he is less experienced and less match tough. After a taxing clash with Johnson, he may just lack the spring in his step required to get past Basilashvili.
Prediction: Basilashvili in three
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