Friday’s first quarter-final match at the Metz Open sees Benjamin Becker (Player Profile) of Germany taking on yet another Frenchman for the crowd to get behind in the form of Nicolas Mahut (Player Profile), who has picked up 2 ATP Tour titles this year. Yesterday he upset the 3rd seed Andreas Seppi in straight sets while his opponent Becker battled past the Wildcard Albano Olivetti from a set down. With one player being behind the other in the ATP World Tour Rankings, this promises to be a close encounter. This will be the first meeting between Mahut and Becker.
Nicolas Mahut, currently ranked at 79 in the world, has had a mixed year, starting inside the world’s top 150, dropping outside the world’s top 250 before winning titles in s-Hertogenbosch and Newport to return to the top 100. His recent form will give him a lot of confidence as well as yesterday’s shock win over last year’s runner-up Seppi, this is down to the manner in which he was victorious winning 64, 64 in just 77 minutes. If he can replicate yesterday’s performance on the court then he will fancy his chances against his German opponent with the crowd right behind him. He is also playing in the doubles, partnered this week with fellow countryman Tsonga as they progressed through to the semi-finals yesterday. Frenchmen doing well in France seems to be a trend here in Metz this week!
On the other side of the net is 32 year old German Benjamin Becker, a player who has had a season where his ranking has only fluctuated between the 50s and 90s. His 2013 W/L record is 7-16 and hasn’t been able to produce any stand out results apart from his run to the quarter-finals at Queen’s Club where he scored a couple of top 40 scalps. Becker reached the quarter-finals in Luxembourg last week and has done the same again here, can he go one step further?