Pouille Powers Through In Metz
Fourth seed Lucas Pouille delighted the home crowd on Thursday at the Moselle Open in Metz, sprinting into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
Pouille raced through the last five games of the opening set and saved both break points he faced, knocking off a forehand volley winner to advance in 68 minutes. The Frenchman seeks his first tour-level semi-final since this year’s Australian Open. He’ll look to keep his flawless FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Serbian Filip Krajinovic (2-0) when they meet on Friday.
Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta provided the upset of the day with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over top-seeded Belgian David Goffin. The 28-year-old fell to Goffin last month at the US Open, but turned the tables on Court Central by breaking him four times en route to victory. Carreno Busta is aiming for his first hard-court ATP Tour semi-final this season.
Next up for Carreno Busta is Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who took out seventh-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6(9), 6-2. Bedene saved two set points at 5/6 and 7/8 in the first-set tie-break, then swept through the first four games of the second set before prevailing in one hour and 32 minutes. The 30-year-old improves to 3-4 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Paire, having also defeated him last month in a fifth-set tie-break at the US Open.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continued to make his case for a fourth title in Metz, scoring a 6-3, 6-4 win over fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert to reach the quarter-finals. He held the lead throughout their battle on Court Central, winning 82 per cent of his first-serve points and saving all three break points he faced to advance in one hour and 29 minutes.
Tsonga improved to 4-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Herbert and has won all nine sets they’ve played. He also defeated Herbert this February in the championship match in Montpellier. The 34-year-old continues to thrive on home soil, having won nine of his 17 career ATP Tour singles titles in France.
Next up for Tsonga is second-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who rallied from 4/6 in the second-set tie-break to defeat German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2, 7-6(6). Tsonga and Basilashvili are tied 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, with Basilashvili winning their most recent clash this May in Lyon.