Final previews and predictions: Pouille vs. Gasquet, Copil vs. Basic

It will be an all-French final in Montpellier on Sunday, when Lucas Pouille and Richard Gasquet battle for the title. A much more surprising championship match in Sofia features first-time ATP finalists Marius Copil and Mirza Basic.

Open Sud de France: (5) Richard Gasquet vs. (2) Lucas Pouille

Pouille and Gasquet will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in the Montpellier final on Sunday. The head-to-head series stands at 3-1 in favor of Pouille, who has defeated his fellow Frenchman on three consecutive occasions dating back to the start of 2016. He got the job done on the red clay of Monte-Carlo two years ago (4-6, 7-5, 6-1) and twice on indoor hard courts in 2017 (7-5, 6-3 in Marseille and 7-6(5), 6-1 in Vienna). Gasquet’s lone victory came at this same Montpellier event via a 6-3, 7-6(6) decision in 2016.

As those results suggest, Gasquet is a whole different beast when it comes to Montpellier. The 31-year-old is an incredible 24-4 lifetime at this tournament with three titles and two runner-up performances. This marks his sixth trip to the final in eight appearances, and he has secured it with victories over Daniil Medvedev, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Damir Dzumhur, and David Goffin. Pouille’s road has been less impressive, with a first-round bye followed by defeats of Carlos Taberner and Benoit Paire in addition to a retirement from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The No. 2 seed trailed Tsonga 6-1, 5-3 and faced two match points on Saturday before Tsonga eventually retired with a hamstring injury at 5-5 in the second set. Based on both current form and Gasquet’s longstanding prowess in Montpellier, he appears to have a clear edge in this one.

Pick: Gasquet in 2

Sofia Open: (Q) Mirza Basic vs. Marius Copil

Copil and Basic will also be facing each other for the fourth time in their careers when they meet again in a surprising Sofia final on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, all three of their previous encounters have come in either Challenger events or in ATP qualifying. Basic leads the head-to-head series 2-1, with a 2015 loss at a hard-court Challenger tournament in Izmir, Turkey followed by a pair of victories in 2016–in Australian Open qualifying and on the indoor hard courts of the Wroclaw Challenger.

It has been an especially amazing week for Basic, who had to qualify just to get into the Sofia main draw. The world No. 129 from Bosnia and Herzegovina even trailed Bulgarian wild card Alexandar Lozlov by a set and 3-1 in the second in the qualifying first round, but Basic recovered from that deficit and the rest is history. So far in the main draw he has ousted Florian Mayer, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Maximilian Marterer, and top-seeded Stan Wawrinka. Copil has put on a consistent serving clinic while defeating Robin Haase, Blaz Kavcic, Gilles Muller, and Jozef Kovalik without dropping one set. The 93rd-ranked Romanian, who has won seven consecutive sets without requiring a single tiebreaker, has not been broken throughout this entire tournament and he has faced only five break points. That kind of serving dominance should see Copil through to his first career ATP title.

Pick: Copil in 3

6 Comments on Final previews and predictions: Pouille vs. Gasquet, Copil vs. Basic

    • Bro but doesn’t pouille has the upper hand against Gaquet Beating 2/3 head to head he s underdog coming to the final and got nothing to loose .

    • He’s still injured. He was able to serve decent enough to look good against the weak players he was facing but anyone with a consistent game/a decent hold percentage has a chance against him while he’s easing his way back into tennis.

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