Veteran Frenchmen Gael Monfils and Adrian Mannarino will be taking the court at the indoor 250 in Montpellier on Thursday. They are set for respective second-round encounters with Mikael Ymer and David Goffin.
Adrian Mannarino vs. (8) David Goffin
Goffin and Mannarino will be squaring off for the seventh time in their careers when they battle for a quarterfinal spot at the Open Sud de France on Thursday afternoon. The head-to-head series stands at 5-1 in favor of Goffin, including 3-0 on indoor hard courts. Unfortunately for the Belgian, there is not much reason to put any stock in those results because he is a shadow of his former self right now. Goffin compiled a losing record on the main tour in 2021 (14-15) and has slumped to 51st in the rankings. The 31-year-old is 3-3 so far this season with a quarterfinal showing in Sydney, a blowout loss to Dan Evans in round one of the Australian Open, and a three-set win over Benjamin Bonzi in the Montpellier first round.
Meanwhile, Mannarino is trending in the opposite direction. The 33-year-old Frenchman reached the fourth round in Melbourne, picking up top 15 wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev before falling to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in a match that featured an epic 16-14 first-set tiebreaker lasting more than 28 minutes. Picking up right where he left off, Mannarino cruised past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday. The world No. 58 is the last player you want to face when you are struggling because of his consistency, so Goffin could be in trouble.
Pick: Mannarino in 2
(3) Gael Monfils Vs. Mikael Ymer
Monfils fared even better than Mannarino at Melbourne Park. The resurgent 35-year-old made a run to the quarterfinals in Novak Djokovic’s section of the draw before losing a five-setter to Matteo Berrettini. Having kicked off his 2022 campaign with a title in Adelaide, Monfils is off to an 8-2 start this season.
Up first for the 16th-ranked Frenchman on Thursday is Ymer, who won their only previous meeting 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 at last year’s French Open. Of course, Monfils was at one of his low points at that point in time and is in completely different form now. As for Ymer’s current level, he did well to deliver a quarterfinal performance in Adelaide but then got a bad draw at the Aussie Open and lost right away to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 83rd-ranked Swede will make Monfils work like he does with pretty much every opponent, but this should be mostly straightforward.
Pick: Monfils in 2