It’s a match that would have looked far more exciting 5 years ago but the clash between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Bernard Tomic is one that could be very interesting if both players can roll back the years on their grass form. The pair are placed in the section of the draw that could see the winner play an opponent that includes Nick Kyrgios or Rafael Nadal in round three.
Tomic announced himself as the new golden boy of Australian tennis with his run to the Wimbledon quarter finals in 2011 but has rarely experienced greater highs than that, with that tournament still being his career best. Since then, he has been overtaken by Kyrgios and now Ashleigh Barty as the focal points of Australian tennis. Tomic is currently ranked just inside the top 100 following a disappointing grass season. He went 1-2 in Challengers, failed to qualify for Queens before a quarter final in Antalya.
Tsonga has gained 150 places since the start of the year but is still outside the top 80 coming into this tournament. His grass credentials are well known with some great matches over the years at SW19, making the semi finals in 2011 and 2012. His attempts to move up the rankings have been hindered by some bad draw luck recently, including on the grass. His second match in Stuttgart was a final set tiebreak loss to Milos Raonic while he lost 7-5 in the third against Roger Federer in the second round at Halle.
Tsonga does already have a 3-0 record against Tomic but it’s hard to take much from matches played over the early part of this decade. He should be the favourite, especially with Tomic’s tendency to falter in longer matches.
Prediction – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 4 sets