ATP METZ - MAIN DRAW: Carreno Busta, Goffin and Muller are the favorites

Tennis - Defending champion Lucas Pouille will lead the French pack

by Jovica Ilic
ATP METZ - MAIN DRAW: Carreno Busta, Goffin and Muller are the favorites

The Moselle Open has been staged in the Arenes de Metz and its roots go back to the 80's when it was held 5 times between 1980-1988. The tournament was restored in 2003 and the home players have won 9 titles, led by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who claimed 3. Defending champion Lucas Pouille will be the leading French player and there are some very good indoor players in the title chase as well, and we should get high-quality matches from the first round.

Pablo Carreno Busta, the US Open semi-finalist and a new Top 10 player, is the top seed, but he will have a tough opponent in his first match, drawing Nicolas Mahut or Dustin Brown (that should be a cracker). This first quarter is actually the strongest one, with Paul-Henri Mathieu (lost the final here 9 years ago), 2010 finalist Mischa Zverev, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert all looking to reach the last 4.

Lucas Pouille and a two-time winner Gilles Simon are the seeds in the second quarter, seeking the quarter-final clash if they oust Alessandro Giannessi, Marius Copil, Norbert Gombos and Andreas Seppi. The 6th seed Richard Gasquet played in the final here in 2004, at the age of 18, and he never reached the title match again.

His chances are not very bright this time around as well, as he had to come down to the Challenger level in order to play some matches and regain form, and we will see his transition from clay to indoor hard surface. Gilles Muller is the clear favorite to reach the semis from that third quarter, especially if he beats tricky Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.

David Goffin and Benoit Paire are the players to beat in the bottom quarter, although the other will have a chance, as we never know what Benoit could produce while struggling Goffin plays Davis Cup on clay this weekend. Full draw:



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Atp Metz Carreno Busta Lucas Pouille