The final of the 2013 Moselle Open in Metz is an all-French affair, with the action starting at 1.30pm UK time today.
My wager fell one game short yesterday in Metz, as Gilles Simon defeated Nicolas Mahut in 22 games, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga again took time to get going and was a three-set winner over Florian Mayer.
Gilles Simon vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
So, the tournament directors have the final they wanted between the number one and two seeds - who happen to be local favourites. Tsonga starts as a 1.43 shot to land a third straight Metz title.
The big man clearly enjoys the conditions here in Metz where the surface aids his game and he has had the edge over his compatriot in these circumstances in the past. Tsonga has won all three of their previous meetings on indoor hard courts and holds a 5-0 overall advantage on hard courts, with Simon winning their two matches on clay.
Both players have enjoyed successful returns from injury this week and it’s hard to see this one ending in a Simon victory, but the underdog has been playing some excellent tennis this week and he should be able to at least push Tsonga here.
Tsonga’s record in finals overall isn’t brilliant, with 10 wins from his 17 at tour level, while Simon has a better record with 10 wins from his 14 at tour level.
The last three Metz titles have gone to either Tsonga or Simon, so both know how to win here and I’m expecting a closer battle than the comfortable straight sets win that Jo enjoyed when they met in Marseille earlier this year.
It’s a simple tactical battle of Tsonga’s big serve versus Simon’s excellent returning skills and Tsonga’s big hitting against Simon’s counter punching. I’m going to side again with the over 22.5 total games here.
Simon has been broken just the once here all week and with Tsonga lacking in return skills the sets should be tight. Tsonga will be looking to get off to a better start than he has in the last two rounds, as Simon will be a tough nut to crack if he starts slowly again.
Back over 22.5 total games at 1.87
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