The ATP World Tour resumes in week 38, with a rather depleted tournament schedule after one of this week’s events was cancelled.
We were due to have a tournament in Tel Aviv this week, but the instability in that part of the world has seen it cancelled in what would have been its comeback to the tour.
So, we’re left with the ATP 250 Moselle Open in Metz, France, which is an indoor event played on a slowish Greenset surface.
Gilles Simon was able to get the better of Sam Querrey, Nicolas Mahut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year – all in straight sets – to land the title, which is perhaps a good indication of the kind of conditions to expect this week.
Gillou isn’t playing this week, but there are plenty of other Frenchmen in the field and we start on Monday morning, with a fairly low-key beginning to the week involving just two round one matches.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs Gilles Muller
This 19:00 UK time start might be a tricky turnaround for ERV, who will have had to have hot footed it from l'Open de la Baie de Somme, where he won the title yesterday to Metz for this match.
The Frenchman won the exhibition event on France’s north coast on Sunday and he didn’t leave for Metz, which is situated in the north-east of the country until last night, according to his Twitter page.
It’s not a huge journey, but it is a good four to five hour drive, or 450km, and ERV is not exactly known for his hardiness when it comes to fatigue or injury and it could be enough to side with Muller today.
ERV certainly won’t have any time for a hit on Court Central I wouldn’t have thought, so one would have to make it advantage Muller from
The pair have met on six prior occasions, with ERV holding a 4-2 career series lead, but they stretch back to 2007 and the most recent one was a retirement by Muller on clay, so we can’t glean much from that.
Roger-Vasselin does have a very good recent record against left-handers, with seven wins from his last eight matches versus lefties such as Muller, but I would expect this will be tricky for him – especially early on.
We should see from the outset what sort of fatigued state – or not – that ERV is in and I like the 2.02 about Muller winning the first set here.
The circumstances make this a tricky match to predict the outcome of, but a shade of odds-against about Muller winning set one seems decent, given that he’s had much more time to prepare.
The 17:00 match between Paul-Henri Mathieu and Benjamin Becker looks a real 50/50 call, with PHM the more complete player, but not one to rely on in terms of fitness or mental strength.
Mathieu will have the crowd’s support, but Becker is good indoors, although I would expect he would like a quicker surface than this one, ideally.
Their most recent clash in the Petange Challenger on indoor hard went the distance almost exactly a year ago and I would perhaps lean with the over games in this one, but it looks a very tough one to bet on for me.
Back Muller to win set one at 2.02