Vienna SF previews and predictions: Tsonga vs. Kohlschreiber, Pouille vs. Edmund

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille are one round away from a potential all-French final in Vienna. They first have to get through respective semifinal showdowns on Saturday against Philipp Kohlschreiber and Kyle Edmund.

(8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber

Tsonga and Kohlschreiber will be squaring off for the 12th time in their careers when they clash in the semifinals of the Erste Bank Open on Saturday. The head-to-head series is being dominated 10-1 by Tsonga, who has won all 10 of their previous official tournament matches. Kohlschreiber’s lone victory came on the clay courts of the now-defunct World Team Championship in Dusseldorf and he has since lost nine in a row against the Frenchman. The two veterans most recently faced each other at this same Vienna event last fall, when Tsonga got the job done 7-6(2), 6-2 during second-round action.

Ranked 15th and also No. 15 in the race to the World Tour Finals, Tsonga put himself in distant contention for a London berth by capturing the Antwerp title last week. He is still alive in that effort thanks to Vienna victories over Karen Khachanov, Damir Dzumhur, and Alexander Zverev. Kohlschreiber punched his ticket to the last four by beating John Isner, Pierre Hugues-Herbert, and Diego Schwartzman all in straight sets. The 34th-ranked German may have more left in his tank, but he also seems to have a mental block against the top players–and certainly against Tsonga, even though this week’s eighth seed is not a top 10 performer at the moment.

Pick: Tsonga in 2

Kyle Edmund vs. Lucas Pouille

Pouille and Edmund will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the third time this season when they meet again on Saturday. Edmund got a retirement in Brisbane while leading 6-3, 3-1 before Pouille benefited from home-court advantage on the red clay of France during Davis Cup quarterfinal action and prevailed 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-3.

With the Frenchmen now in the Davis Cup final (vs. Belgium next month), Pouille is making a late push to convince Yannick Noah that he is worthy of another selection. The world No. 25 struggled at Wimbledon and early in the hard-court swing, but he reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open and has wins this week over Sebastian Ofner, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, and Richard Gasquet. Edmund has advanced by taking out David Ferrer, Dennis Novak (in three tiebreakers), and Jan-Lennard Struff. Prior to his arrival in Vienna, the 63rd-ranked Brit had beaten only one opponent ranked better than him (Robin Haase at the U.S. Open) since July. Asking him to score a third such victory of the week may be slightly too much.

Pick: Pouille in 3

5 Comments on Vienna SF previews and predictions: Tsonga vs. Kohlschreiber, Pouille vs. Edmund

  1. Pouille in 3 (Pouille can win in 2 also as Edwards may be tired. The 3-setter match with novice Novak(not Djokovic!lol) took a lot out of him. Or is Edwards gonna be tough as the queen?) and

    Tonga in 3 (as Kohl is the home dog and will play inspired at a higher lvl. The same reason Kohl won against Shortman. The same match at any other venue (country), Shorty would have defeated Kohl!)

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