Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are just two big name players looking to win the Moselle Open at ATP Metz this week.
This year’s Moselle Open, the first of 11 indoor tournaments leading to the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, features the Top 20 trio of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 1 Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, who reached the final in 2004, and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.
All three are battling for one of the four spots in the eight-player field in London. Tsonga is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the sixth time in his career, the second this year (Eastbourne, 2nd Rd.).
Other seeds in the 28-player draw are: No. 4 and 2005 winner Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, No. 5 Michael Llodra of France, No. 6 Xavier Malisse of Belgium, No. 7 and ’09 runner-up Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, and No. 8 Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. Overall, there are a tournament-high eight Frenchmen in the main draw (not including qualifiers).
There are four final round qualifying matches and two main draw matches on Monday’s schedule. In the opening main draw match on Centre Court, Matthias Bachinger of Germany takes on former Top 10 Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. Baghdatis won the previous meeting in three sets in the second round of Munich in May 2007.
Bachinger reached a career-high No. 85 last month (Aug. 15) and he’s compiled outstanding Challenger results with a 29-10 match record and one title. Baghdatis is looking to improve his record on the year to 21-21. His best result was the semi-finals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June and the quarter-finals four other times.
In the second match, No. 8 Gilles Muller, who broke the Top 50 last week for the first time after reaching the fourth round at the US Open, plays German Philipp Petzschner.
In their only previous meeting in the Rennes Challenger final in 2007, Petzschner won 6-3, 6-4. Muller is 13-8 on the season and his best ATP World Tour result is the semi-finals in Atlanta in July (l. to Isner).
Petzschner, who won his second Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open (w/Melzer), is 21-18 on the year. His best singles result is a runner-up in Halle in June (l. to Kohlschreiber).
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