TennisSection previews the 2021 Marseille Open as Ugo Humbert (4) meets Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, March 10 2021.
This should be a very entertaining “All-French” matchup between the veteran fan-favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and future star Ugo Humbert. Tennis fans the world over are very happy to see former top five player Tsonga finally back on the ATP Tour after a long injury layoff. French tennis fans will undoubtedly be excited for this one, will it be “past” or “present” to win here at the 2021 Marseille Open?
Ugo Humbert is currently ranked #31 and is considered one of the young stars of the ATP Tour. He has displayed flashes of immense talent but struggles to string consistent performances together. This is something he will need to work on if he is to truly enter the top-tier of men’s tennis. A very flashy lefty, he has every shot in the book and his powerful style will be quite difficult to handle on this surface. After a solid 2020 season he has started 2021 slowly, with a Quarter-Final showing at the Open Sud de France his only result of note. He suffered a disappointing First Round loss to countryman Jeremy Chardy in Rotterdam and will be very eager to get his season back on track here at the Marseille Open. While he has never played Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before, he will be extremely confident of getting the win here.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is currently ranked #62 and is a former top 5 player in the ATP rankings. He is a hugely popular player and it truly is a delight to have him back competing here at the 2021 Marseille Open. Tsonga has looked rusty since his return a couple weeks ago at the Open Sud de France, which is to be expected after such a long layoff. However, he showed flashes of his old self in his First Round win over fellow veteran Feliciano Lopez and is slowly regaining his match fitness and confidence. Against the young star Ugo Humbert Tsonga will have to serve very well to have a chance, and will definitely need to draw on his extensive experience. The veteran enters this match as the underdog but as a former champion and top five player he should never be counted out.
This will be the second meeting between the two French stars, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leading the head to head series 1-0. I do think that this match will be a lot closer than many expect, with the veteran player slowly creeping back into form. Humbert certainly deserves to be the favorite here at the 2021 Marseille Open but he has struggled with form recently and will surely be low on confidence. Additionally, playing against someone that he must consider somewhat of an idol and legend of French tennis is sure to give him some nerves. The last time they faced each other was in 2019 in Montpellier, with the then 19 year old Humbert taking Tsonga to three sets in a very close match. Their careers have gone in vastly different directions since then, but I still am expecting a close battle. They both will be highly motivated to do well in their home country, with Humbert eager to cement his status as one of the future stars of French tennis and Tsonga wanting to prove that he’s not finished yet.
This surely will be an entertaining match and I expect a lot of fantastic shot making from both players. While Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has slowly been finding his form again, I don’t think that he has the fitness to hang with Ugo Humbert for three sets. If he serves well, he may steal a set but expect the younger player to eventually figure it out and win a close one here at the Marseille Open
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Ugo Humbert to win