Gael Monfils begins his bid for a third Open Sud de France title in Montpellier on Thursday night when he faces countryman Adrian Mannarino in the second round.
Gael Monfils ?? vs Adrian Mannarino ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday February 6
Tournament: Open Sud de France, ATP Montpellier R2
Court: Patrice Dominguez
Time: 8.30pm local time (7.30pm GMT)
Gael Monfils vs Adrian Mannarino Head-to-Head
Level at 2-2
2019 | French Open R64 | Monfils 6-3 6-4 6-4
2018 | Antalya SF | Mannarino 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4
2017 | Wimbledon R32 | Mannarino 7-6(3) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-2
2015 | Wimbledon R64 | Monfils 7-6(5) 6-3 7-5
Gael Monfils vs Adrian Mannarino Match Preview
Monfils and Mannarino face off for the first time on hardcourt as the two Frenchman battle it out for a place in the Montpellier quarter-finals on Thursday night.
Playing his first Open Sud de France since 2016, Monfils will be targeting a third title in Montpellier this week. The 33-year-old has a 15-4 record at the ATP 250 tournament, winning two titles in 2010 and 2014, while he was also a runner-up in 2012 and a semi-finalist in 2015. His last result in Montpellier came in 2016 when he was knocked out in the first round by World No. 136 Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Monfils has quietly made his way back into the top 10 after an underrated last 12 months, which included winning one of the biggest titles of his career at the 500-level tournament in Rotterdam, while he also reached semi-finals at the Montreal Masters, Sofia, Dubai and Vienna, along with making the fourth round at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. Monfils was one win away from qualifying for the ATP Finals at the end of 2019, but he failed to beat Denis Shapovalov at the Paris Masters. Nevertheless, he still finished the year inside the top 10 for the second time in his career, and he’s started 2020 in solid if unspectacular fashion, advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open before suffering a one-sided defeat to eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem.
Consistency and staying healthy has always been the biggest issue for Monfils, but at this stage it’s certainly possible that he could somewhat repeat his career-best 2016 season, where he made the U.S. Open semi-finals and won the 500-level Citi Open in Washington to finish that year at No. 6 in the world. Winning a third title in Montpellier would act as the perfect launchpad.
Can Monfils make it past his fellow countryman on Thursday night? Mannarino doesn’t have the best record in Montpellier, winning just two of his six matches before this week, but he registered a confidence-boosting victory in his opening round on Wednesday, dropping two bagels on Aussie rising star Alexei Popyrin between a second-set tiebreak, coming out on top by a bizarre 6-0 6-7(7) 6-0 scoreline.
Mannarino’s most fruitful season in terms of match wins came in 2017 when he tallied 33 victories overall, including making the Montreal Masters quarter-finals, the fourth round at Wimbledon and the final of the 500-level Japan Open in Tokyo, while he hit his career-high ranking of No. 22 the following year after reaching the third round of Indian Wells. After going 0-6 in ATP finals, Mannarino finally broke through for his first tour-level title on the grass of s-Hertogenbosch last year, while he also finished runner-up in Zhuhai, rebuilding his ranking from No. 69 in August (his lowest mark in three years) to a current ranking of No. 45. The 31-year-old hasn’t had good starts to the last couple of seasons, going 0-5 in 2019 and then losing in the first rounds of Doha, Auckland and the Australian Open in 2020 before getting off the mark against Popyrin on Wednesday.
Gael Monfils vs Adrian Mannarino Prediction
Mannarino has the funky game to frustrate Monfils, and the indoor conditions should suit his game as well. In saying that, Monfils is the far superior player, and if he’s shrugged off minor injury issues that plagued him in Australia, then the two-time Montpellier champion should find a way to grind this one out.