Three of the four semifinalists in Marseille hail from the host nation, with the only outsider being Nick Kyrgios. The defending champion is going up against another former winner in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while an all-French affair will feature Richard Gasquet and Lucas Pouille.
(3) Nick Kyrgios vs. (2) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tsonga and Kyrgios will be going head-to-head for the first time their careers when they battle for a spot in the final of the Open 13 on Saturday. The winner will be a considerable favorite to capture the title regardless of the other semi’s result. After all, they are combined 27-5 lifetime in Marseille with three titles (two for Tsonga and one for Kyrgios last year).
Kyrgios, in fact, has never even dropped a set at this tournament. The 16th-ranked Australian rolled to the winner’s trophy in 2016 and so far this week he has cruised past Malek Jaziri and Norbert Gombos. Tsonga, of course, represents a dramatic step up in competition level. The No. 2 seed, who is 20-5 in his Marseille career, is an outstanding 15-3 this season and coming off a title last week on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam. He has maintained momentum with straight-set Marseille victories over Illya Marchenko and Gilles Simon. Tsonga will have the crowd behind him, but nowhere is Kyrgios better than he is in Marseille and the 21-year-old has lost a laughable 14 total points in 18 service games this week.
Pick: Kyrgios in 3
(6) Richard Gasquet vs. (4) Lucas Pouille
Pouille and Gasquet will be squaring off for the third time in their careers on Saturday. The head-to-head series is tied up at one win apiece, with Gasquet having gotten the job done 6-3, 7-6(6) two years ago in Montpellier before Pouille prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 on the clay courts of Monte-Carlo last spring.
Gasquet is looking good on the indoor hard courts of France this month, coming off a recent runner-up finish in Montpellier. The 19th-ranked Frenchman has battled to a pair of three-set wins this week over Robin Haase and top-seeded Gael Monfils in addition to a more routine defeat of Mikhail Youzhny. Pouille had been a mere 1-3 in 2017 prior to his arrival in Marseille, but he is through to the last eight following hard-fought victories over Aljaz Bedene and Daniil Medvedev. Based on current form and experience in the latter stages of ATP events, Gasquet should have a slight edge over his younger countryman.
Pick: Gasquet in 3