Former Australian Open finalist, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has made it into the second round of the 2019 ATP Open Sud de France in Montpellier. At this stage of the tournament, Tsonga is set to play the number 4 seed, Gilles Simon. Both Simon and Tsonga are from France so both players will look to impress in their own country.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his previous round fixture in 3 sets as he beat Ugo Humbert. It was a close match where Tsonga lost the opening set but managed to fight back well to eventually get the overall victory. During the win, Tsonga served exceptionally well as he hit 21 aces which allowed him to win 95% of his service games. Tsonga has been struggling with injury for the past 12 months and it is still not clear if the Frenchman is back to his best condition.
On the other side of the court, Gilles Simon received an opening round bye due to his high seeding. It has been a good start to 2019 for Gilles Simon as the made the semifinals of both the ATP Maharashtra Open and the ATP Sydney International. Gilles Simon has been playing consistently well over the past 6 months and that has resulted in him winning the ATP Moselle Open in September. With such consistency, Simon will be hard to stop in this tournament.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon have played 12 times in the past. As it currently stands, Tsonga has won on 9 occasions while Simon has won 3 times. The most recent match between these two players was in 2017 at ATP Marseille where Tsonga won in straight sets.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Gilles Simon to win this match. Tsonga has lacked court time and has struggled with injury over the past 12 months while Simon has been playing consistently well in that period. Simon looks in better form and I see the number 4 seed winning this match.