Five remaining round two matches will be played on Thursday at the 2019 Moselle Open. The top seeds David Goffin and Nikoloz Basilashvili will not have it easy in their opening matches. Who do you think will prevail?
Aljaz Bedene vs Gilles Simon
Head-to-head: Bedene 1-0
The Frenchman did not have a good summer, winning just one match in the American hard court season. He retired down a set to Andrey Rublev in US Open round two, but appeared physically fine against in his first-round here. Bedene has a head-to-head win back from 2017 in Winston-Salem. Indoor conditions should favor the Frenchman, who hits a very flat ball and usually does very well on quick, slick surfaces. The defending champion (also won in 2013 and 2010) should be able to come through.
Prediction: Simon in 3
Lorenzo Sonego vs Lucas Pouille
Head-to-head: First meeting
The Frenchman won this event back in 2016 and can push his game to great heights indoors. However, he’s also one of the most inconsistent players on the tour (in terms of results) and mixes up great runs with opening-round losses. Sonego is in the middle of a breakthrough season, but he’s yet to show his potential on this surface. Pouille should dominate play on his forehand and find a way to advance against the in-form Italian.
Prediction: Pouille in 2
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Yannick Maden
Head-to-head: First meeting
The German advanced through the qualifying competition, defeating Manuel Guinard and Nicolas Mahut. In the first round, he beat another Frenchman Ugo Humbert. The second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili is one of the most erratic players on the tour and he usually performs better on slower surfaces. Indoor conditions should give Maden a pretty good chance for an upset. Playing three matches on this court already will prove useful against an opponent who might be rusty playing his first match after the US Open.
Prediction: Maden in 3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Head-to-head: Tsonga 3-0
The three-time champion lost the opening set to Pablo Andujar, yet managed to win the next two very comfortably. He should be coming into this match with a lot of confidence, having easily beaten Herbert indoors this year in Montpellier. The younger Frenchman defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in a slight upset. His all-court game is generally most dangerous on faster surfaces. However, he’s never taken a set off Tsonga and the 34-year-old should continue his winning run, started two weeks ago with a Challenger title in Cassis.
Prediction: Tsonga in 2
David Goffin vs Pablo Carreno Busta
A repeat from the third-round of the US Open, where Goffin won in three tight sets. Carreno Busta defeated German qualifier Julian Lenz in the first round, while the Belgian had a bye as the first seed. The conditions should favor Goffin, who plays very close to the baseline and tries to take as many balls as he can on the rise. The one who will push his opponent behind more should win and on a slick, fast surface, the Belgian should have the advantage.
Prediction: Goffin in 3