Top seed Lucas Pouille begins his Montpellier Open campaign with a match against veteran Marcos Baghdatis on Thursday, February 7. This match will begin at around 8.30 pm local time (7.30 pm BST).
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Lucas Pouille v Marcos Baghdatis Head to Head
The players have met twice thus far, once on the ATP circuit and once at the Challenger. At the 2018 US Open, Pouille won in four sets after losing the first in a tiebreak.
In 2014, on a similar surface, Pouille emerged victorious on the Challenger circuit, after Baghdatis withdrew with an injury.
Confident Pouille Looks To Carry On Australian Open Form
Frenchman Lucas Pouille begins his ATP 250 run at Montpellier, after a successful Australian Open. Pouille made the semi-finals of the first slam of the year, before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. High on confidence, the defending champion and number 1 seed here, Pouille begins as the favorite for the tournament. After a first round bye, Pouille plays Cypriot veteran Marcos Baghdatis.
Montpellier has typically been a happy hunting ground for the French players. Since its inception in 2010, six of the eight titles have been won by a Frenchman. Once again, the field boasts of a strong French contingent and the victorious trend may well continue.
Pouille is an attacking player by nature, with a strong forehand, who does not hesitate to come up to the net. The indoor hard surface at the Sud de France arena will serve to his liking.
Warhorse Baghdatis Hopes to be a Viable Contender
An Australian Open runner-up to Roger Federer in 2006, Baghdatis has slipped outside the top 100 in the rankings, with injuries, poor form and age. His first round win here against lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans in straight sets was his first tour-level win since the 2018 US Open.
Once a dangerous floater in any draw, Baghdatis failed to qualify for the ATP 250 at Doha and the Australian Open, and has had to play challenger level matches, as well as make it through the qualifiers here at Montpellier.
Baghdatis showed glimpses of his old self, and clean ball striking in his first round encounter. However, he has lacked in consistency in tournaments that he has entered in recent times. It remains to be seen if he can continue his decent form, from the qualifiers and first round, further into the week.
Pouille v Baghdatis Prediction and Tips
Baghdatis has the grit, perserverance and shot making to challenge anyone on the tour, and continues to do so. His fearless attitude and relentless shot making have been a factor on the tour for more than a decade.
But, at 33 years of age and having slipped in both form and ranking, the Cypriot will be up against a fresher, and in- form opponent, almost ten years younger.
Although one can expect to see glimpses of Baghdatis’ best tennis every time he steps on a tennis court, Pouille will be more than a handful for him. With his current form and confidence, expect Pouille to win this comfortably in two straight sets..
You can watch & bet on Lucas Pouille v Marcos Baghdatis here on Thursday, February 7. The match will start around 5:00 pm local time (9:00 pm BST).