• Dolgopolov battles Malisse, Tsonga meets Mahut

    9/23/11 2:32 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Dolgopolov battles Malisse, Tsonga meets Mahut Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Mahut are set for an all-French clash on Friday in Metz. Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse are also looking for a spot in the semifinals.

    (1) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Nicolas Mahut

    Tsonga and Mahut will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers at the ATP level when they do battle in the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open on Friday. Mahut won a pair of Futures matches in 2001 and 2003, but Tsonga prevailed 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 on the clay courts of Hamburg in 2008. Still in the prime of his career at 26 years old, Tsonga is 38-18 for the season after a straight-set victory over countryman Mathieu Rodrigues on Thursday.

    Mahut won another all-French showdown in round two, overcoming Arnaud Clement 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 30 minutes. The 29-year-old is now an even 9-9 at the ATP level for his 2011 campaign and he comes in at No. 92 in the world. Mahut is a considerable underdog against a 10th-ranked opponent, but he can always be competitive thanks to his big serve. Look for Tsonga to prevail in two entertaining sets.

    (3) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. (6) Xavier Malisse

    Occasional doubles partners Dolgopolov and Malisse will be squaring off for the first time in their careers on Friday night. Malisse, who teamed up with Dolgopolov to win the Indian Wells title earlier this season, appears to be ending a dismal slump. The 31-year-old went 0-5 during the U.S. Open Series and headed into Metz on a seven-match losing streak. So far this week, however, Malisse has taken out Michael Berrer and Igor Kunitsyn to level his 2011 record at 22-22.

    Dolgopolov is in the midst of a breakout season on tour and he is up to No. 20 in the world, mainly thanks to a quarterfinal showing at the Australian Open and a recent fourth-round performance in New York. The 22-year-old Ukrainian, who got a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed, is 33-22 for the year after overcoming Marcos Baghdatis in three sets on Wednesday. Based on current form, Dolgopolov in three sets is the pick.

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Mahut up a set and just had 2 break chances

RickyDimon , 9/23/11 7:01 PM

Tsonga making very heavy weather of this.

ed251137 , 9/23/11 8:06 PM

good match

RickyDimon , 9/23/11 8:27 PM

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