ATP Lyon Open Day 2 Predictions Including Gael Monfils vs Lloyd Harris

Tommy Paul in action ahead of the ATP Lyon Open.

With the French Open now just a week away, every player in the draw at the ATP Lyon Open will surely be determined to make their mark. Day two features eight matches on the schedule and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Lorenzo Musetti. But who will book their place in the second round?

ATP Lyon Open Day 2 Predictions

Benjamin Bonzi vs Karen Khachanov

Head-to-head: Khachanov 1-0 Bonzi

Karen Khachanov, perhaps more than most players, will be desperate to put together a deep run at the ATP Lyon Open. The Russian has struggled to make the most of the promise he showed early in his career by winning the title in Bercy and he has made a very poor start to this season, winning just 11 of his first 21 matches. His clay-court form has been particularly disappointing, with the Russian losing in the first round in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

But this should be a winnable match for a player of his quality. He has faced wildcard Benjamin Bonzi just once previously, recording a 6-2 6-4 win in the semifinals at a Futures event, and their respective careers have since diverged in exactly the way that match suggested they would. Bonzi has played some good tennis at Challenger-level, reaching the final in Ostrava, but he looks to be in danger of being outgunned by the Russian. Khachanov may lack a viable Plan B too often, but Plan A should be enough here.

Prediction: Khachanov in 2
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Gael Monfils vs Lloyd Harris

Head-to-head: Harris 1-0 Monfils

Gael Monfils is another player who badly needs a win. The Frenchman has lost every match he has played since the 2020 season resumed after the pandemic-enforced break. Admittedly, that is not that many, with Monfils only returning to action in Rome last September and missing much of this season, but he will doubtless be concerned that in mid-May his record for 2021 stands at 0-3. That being said, he did perform creditably in his 4-6 7-5 4-6 defeat at the hands of Sonego last week in Rome.

And, when it is remembered that the Italian went on to beat Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev, that loss doesn’t look half as disappointing. Monfils did lose his only previous match against Lloyd Harris, his first-round opponent in Lyon, but that came on a fast hard court in Chengdu. The South African is rather less comfortable on the clay with his only victory on the surface in four outings this season coming at Grigor Dimitrov’s expense in Madrid. Expect Monfils to make his long overdue return to winning ways.

Prediction: Monfils in 2
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Arthur Rinderknech vs Mikael Ymer

Head-to-head: first meeting

It is hard to escape the feeling that Mikael Ymer needs to add a little more firepower to his game if he is to continue to progress up the ATP rankings. The Swede, who currently sits at world #101, is an excellent mover with solid groundstrokes and he showed off his athleticism in coming through the qualifying at the ATP Lyon Open, beating former-world #24 Martin Klizan and Brazilian young gun Thiago Seyboth Wild, both in three sets, to reach the main draw.

Arthur Rinderknech’s qualifying campaign did not go quite so well. The Frenchman showed impressive composure to edge out Kimmer Coppejans in a third-set tiebreak in the first round, but lost out to Joao Sousa, 6-4 3-6 6-3, in the second. He secured a place in the main draw as a lucky loser, an opportunity many have used to impressive impact. But Ymer will be as acclimated to the conditions as the Frenchman and it is Ymer who has the greater upside.

Prediction: Ymer in 3
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Tommy Paul vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is still capable of producing the odd piece of magic, but the Frenchman is a shadow of the player he once was. Robbed of much of his athleticism by injury and illness, he is no longer such an explosive presence on court and that has laid his weaknesses bare. His backhand, in particular, is regularly targeted by his opponents whilst his forehand lacks the bite and penetration he was once able to generate. His difficulties travelling have also denied him the chance to build up momentum.

All of which, in short, suggests he will struggle against Tommy Paul. The American has not enjoyed the most productive start to his year, but he is a solid clay-courter, in large part thanks to his powerful forehand and relatively good court-coverage. There are still areas of his game in need of improvement, but this is a match he should be winning. After what has been a largely encouraging campaign on the European clay, expect him to do just that.

Prediction: Paul in 3

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