The last four standing at the 2013 Moselle Open are all set to do battle for a place in the final in Metz this afternoon.
Saturday’s semi-finals see Nicolas Mahut take on Gilles Simon in an all-French affair, while a third Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faces Florian Mayer.
Friday’s wager in Metz was another winning one as Simon comfortably defeated Sam Querrey to take his place in the last four, while Mahut eased past Benjamin Becker and Tsonga took care of Tobias Kamke. Finally, Mayer edged past Carlos Berlocq in a tight contest that finished not long before midnight local time.
Nicolas Mahut vs Gilles Simon
This will be the fifth meeting between these two players of a long-running series that has been on going since 2004 and currently stands at two wins apiece. Mahut did beat Simon here way back in 2008 and they haven’t met at all for three years, so there’s little to glean from the historical stats.
The conditions here in Metz have tended to suit the big hitters this week and we’ve even seen Simon venture to the net more often than he perhaps ordinarily would, which is another indicator that attacking play yields results in these conditions. On that basis you would have to give Mahut a shot here and he’s really enjoyed himself here in both singles and doubles, where he plays the semi-final with Tsonga later today.
He’s certainly motivated to reach a tour level final in his home country and if is to lose to the better player in Simon, it may not be by much. I like the over 22.5 total games at 1.78 in this match, with Mahut keeping things close with his attacking serve and volley style, but I suspect that it might not be quite enough if Simon continues to perform as he has done in Metz thus far.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Florian Mayer
This is a rough one for Mayer. Having come through a real battle on Friday night against Berlocq, which lasted not far off two-and-a-half hours, he now has to face the power of Tsonga the next afternoon.
Mayer wouldn’t have had much sleep last night and he doesn’t have a great record against the Frenchman in any case, with two straight sets losses to him in their two career meetings so far. Conditions suit the big man, who had to toil more than expected against another German, Tobias Kamke last night and I would expect a relatively comfortable win for Tsonga here under the circumstances.
His stamina could be in question after a long break from the tour due to injury, but playing at home in Metz, where he’s won the title for the last two years, fatigue is unlikely to concern him too much.
Mayer’s record on indoor hard isn’t great and in the last two years it’s been awful. This is probably due to the fact that he can be rushed on the faster surfaces with his long backswings and unusual style and Tsonga’s power on a quick surface should see him prevail. The 2-0 Tsonga win at 1.63 looks the call here.
Back over 22.5 total games in Mahut vs Simon at 1.78
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