ATP Metz Day 4 Predictions Including Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils in action ahead of the ATP Metz Open.

Thursday at the ATP Metz Open will feature all the remaining second-round matches. Top-seeded Hubert Hurkacz starts his campaign against Lucas Pouille, while Philipp Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils will revisit a thirteen-year-old rivalry. But who will advance?

ATP Metz Day 2 Predictions

Alex de Minaur vs Marcos Giron

Head-to-head: de Minaur 1-1 Giron

Alex de Minaur won this one very comfortably in fairly similar conditions last year (Antwerp). The Australian finds himself in awful form at the moment though, with just one win in his past five events. Meanwhile, Marcos Giron is probably playing the best tennis of his career at the moment, finding consistency of depth and weight of shot that he wasn’t able to touch before. He already has one match in Marseille under his belt, which should work in his favor, especially as his opponent hasn’t played yet since the US Open.

De Minaur is the better player in general and his court coverage and foot speed make him a nightmare to hit through. But with his less than indifferent form of late and Giron’s continued track of progress, the circumstances are aligning for the underdog to have a very good chance on Thursday.

Prediction: Giron in 3
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Peter Gojowczyk vs Karen Khachanov

Head-to-head: Khachanov 1-0 Gojowczyk

Peter Gojowczyk is coming off a fourth-round exit at the US Open. While it likely won’t be a sudden career resurgence, the German can still play tennis of extremely high quality and on a given day, he is a threat to anyone. Gojowczyk takes the ball very early and on the rare occasion that he can do that without leaking unforced errors, that playstyle can take the racket away from the opponent.

The German qualified here and defeated Antoine Hoang twice, both in deciding sets (in the final qualifying round, then in the first round after the Frenchman got in as a lucky loser). His disposition in these matches tells us he’s unlikely to peak against Khachanov, who’s both much more solid and stronger physically.

Prediction: Khachanov in 3
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Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Head-to-head: first meeting

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina’s best results have come on clay, but the Spaniard can also be very successful in faster conditions. He’s a former Wimbledon champion in juniors and his game probably works best when he can find a way to dictate the play. Indoor surfaces give his game slightly more pop, which makes controlling the course of the rallies easier.

The issue is that Nikoloz Basilashvili is one of the players who just never give that sort of freedom to the opponent. The Georgian is among the most powerful hitters in the sport and he will make Davidovich Fokina scramble for balls behind the baseline. He probably wins if he can do that while limiting the errors coming off his racket. The Spaniard has quite a lot of variety, so let’s see if he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Prediction: Basilashvili in 3
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Hubert Hurkacz vs Lucas Pouille

Head-to-head: Hurkacz 2-1 Pouille

The head-to-head meetings from 2019 don’t mean anything in this particular case. Lucas Pouille had to skip almost the entire 2020 season due to elbow surgery and his comeback trail hasn’t been among the easiest. The Frenchman is capable of playing great tennis, but he’s rarely able to do that over an extended period of time. His very aggressive playstyle requires taking the ball early and a very clean point of contact, which often leads to inconsistency.

Hubert Hurkacz hasn’t played since the US Open and while it’s been a breakout season for the Pole, he remains a very streaky competitor. Between his Miami title and Wimbledon semifinal run, he won just one match across six events. It’s often hard to guess which version of Hurkacz will show up but if he can channel some of that form, he should be too solid for Pouille at this point of their careers. The Pole also won’t be completely new to the conditions, having played two doubles matches at Metz alongside Jan Zielinski.

Prediction: Hurkacz in 2
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Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Gael Monfils

Head-to-head: Monfils 14-2 Kohlschreiber

We’ve got a real throwback Thursday in Metz, as the two faced each other for the first time thirteen years ago. Gael Monfils has a very dominant lead in the head-to-head, which includes six indoor hard meetings. He came out on top in every single one of them, although only once was he able to close it out in straights. Philipp Kohlschreiber is in this event as a lucky loser, having lost to Holger Rune in the final qualifying round.

Monfils is finally out of the terrible slump that he entered post-pandemic. His level went up drastically during the North-American hard court swing and if he keeps playing at that level, he needs to be regarded as a threat to win ATP events again. Kohlschreiber will have more match practice, but it’s the Frenchman who dominated this matchup indoors. Looking at how their careers are going, he’s also likely the one who has a couple more years of playing high-quality tennis left.

Prediction: Monfils in 2

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