• Tsonga, Monfils aim for Moselle Open semifinals

    9/21/12 4:12 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Monfils aim for Moselle Open semifinals Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils will headline quarterfinal action in Metz on Friday. They are set for respective meetings with Jesse Levine and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    (1) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Jesse Levine

    This week at the Moselle Open is just what the doctor ordered for Tsonga to bounce back from a surprising second-round U.S. Open loss. Tsonga is the defending champion, No. 1 seed, and owner of a great draw. The seventh-ranked Frenchman dismissed qualifier Clement Reix on Wednesday and he will go up against Levine for the first time during quarterfinal action on Friday.

    Levine had been a disappointing 4-13 at the ATP level this season prior to his arrival in Metz, but he is ranked a solid 78th in the world due to success on the Challenger circuit. The American booked a spot in his first ATP quarterfinal of 2012 thanks to victories this week over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Michael Berrer. Count on Tsonga ending Levine's run in straight sets.

    (7) Gael Monfils vs. (2) Philipp Kohlschreiber

    Kohlschreiber and Monfils will be squaring off for the eighth time in their careers when they battle for a semifinal place on Friday. Monfils is dominating the head-to-head series 6-1, including 4-0 on hard courts. The Frenchman rolled 6-2, 6-2 last summer in Cincinnati and he prevailed 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-3 this spring on the blue clay of Madrid.

    Monfils, coming back from a knee problem, is contesting his first tournament since May. He is off to a good start with straight-set wins at the expense of Olivier Rochus and Nicolas Mahut. Kohlschreiber earned a bye as the No. 2 seed before getting past Benoit Paire 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 on Thursday night. Based mostly on their respective second-round performances, Monfils in three sets is the pick.

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