An intriguing first round encounter takes place on the opening day of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament between world No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Germany’s Florian Mayer. Mayer is yet to earn a professional victory over Tsonga, who holds a perfect 4-0 lead in the head-to-head series dating back to 2010.
The French No. 2 began his 2014 season at the Australian Open, where he reached the quarter-final stage before losing to Roger Federer in straight sets. He would follow up with a convincing victory in the Davis Cup tie against Australia, where he defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the first rubber to help France get a 5-0 victory on home soil. Now Tsonga will look to work his way back up the Top 10 rankings, starting with a strong showing in Rotterdam this week.
World No. 29 Florian Mayer is 7-3 since the start of the 2014 season, having reached the semi-finals in Doha (lost to Monfils) and the fourth round of the Australian Open (lost to David Ferrer). His only disappointing performance came in Sydney, where he exited in the opening round to Marinko Matosevic. Mayer also took part in a fantastic Davis Cup tie against Spain, where he earned a 7-6(6), 7-6(4), 1-6, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Feliciano Lopez to upset the Spanish team in the opening round. He will now look to add his biggest victory of the season, when he faces Tsonga in the opening round in Rotterdam.
This marks the fifth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with the series skewed to Tsonga’s favour with a flawless 4-0 record against the German. All four of their meetings took place on hard courts, with Mayer’s strongest performance taking place on the indoor court, which is similar to that in Rotterdam. It will be interesting to see whether he can manage the upset in the opening round of the tournament.
Prediction: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Three Sets