Can in form Struff buck the trend of Frenchman winning in Metz?
<div><h2>ATP Metz Outright</h2><p><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tennis/world/atp/atp-metz-france-men-singles/" target="_blank">Monday, September 16, Metz</a></p><p>After an outright finalist in Zhengzhou we’re back on week 38 on the main tour to preview the Moselle Open in Metz, France. Since the inaugural event back in 2003 it has been an all French affair with 10 of the 16 titles being taken by Frenchmen and just once since 2007 has there been a Metz final that didn’t feature a French player. In 2019 we have no fewer than 10 Frenchies bidding to continue that trend and 2 of those are looking to break the title record, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, each of whom have 3 titles.</p><h2>Background</h2><p>The field is top heavy with 4 top 30 players heading the seeds and neither half stands out as much easier than the other. No top seed has won Metz since Tsonga in 2012 and just one has made the final in the last 5 years. Nonetheless, top seed Goffin and second seed Basilashvili both have strong records in Metz and generally have done well in the past priced sub 3 on indoor hard courts, as they will be this week. Pouille and Simon too have exceptional records on French indoor hard and have won the title in Metz before with Simon the defending champion. Paire and Verdasco stand out as the weaker seeds with neither having a great record in Metz. It is worth pointing out, however, that Paire has been more focused than usual in 2019 and will surely want to join his compatriots as title holders after losing in the final back in 2017.</p><h2>Will the French Theme Continues?</h2><p>Moving to the outright prices I am a little mixed. As appealing as the French theme seems, I have reservations about the value of the top Frenchman. Tsonga (10), Pouille (11), Gasquet (12), Paire (15) and Simon (19) seem poor value at their respective prices with each having either fitness or form concerns, or both. Tsonga has struggled all year after return from injury and would have lost you a lot of money had you bet on him all year. Despite his excellent record at the event he hasn’t won it since 2015 and lost in the first-round last year. Pouille is a streaky player and may well storm through this tournament but his record early in events is very poor with a 14-19 record over the last 12 months in the opening 2 rounds for a -20.3% ROI. He’s generally better off watched for form and then bet on rather than bet on early doors, especially as he is likely to have a very dangerous opponent first out in Sonego. Paire is a similar story though as I have said he has been impressive in 2019, while Simon retired at the US Open and Gasquet is returning from injury and has a poor record on French indoor hard, probably because his style leads to needing more time to wind up his shots especially on the backhand.</p><p>All things must come to an end and perhaps the French theme had more to do with the quality of French players rather than the home advantage. I hope so since our selection for the week comes in the form of the German, Jan-Lennard Struff.</p><h2>Cab Struff land his debut title?</h2><p>Struff has been a near miss kind of player at main level with 7 semi finals to his name but 0 final appearances. That is off putting and it is clear to any who have watched Struff regularly that he can have mental lapses, but on closer examination I would argue that he has been more unfortunate than poor in the semi finals in reality, plus 7 matches over 5 years is hardly a big sample size to go from. In 6 of those semis he was the underdog and 4 of those were tight. Struff has often come up against players in blistering form, such as Berrettini this year in Stuttgart, and given the excellent form he has shown of late he will surely have the belief that he can defeat anyone in this field.</p><p>Struff has been a punters best friend with a 26.7% ROI in 2019 and he enjoys these conditions with an 18.4% ROI over his last 50 matches on indoor hard. Priced over 2 against the top 50 he has won 50% of matches over the last 12 months for a 55% ROI. He has a 16.7% ROI at Metz and made the semi in 2014 losing 7-6 6-3 priced 4 to Goffin having generated 2 more break points on the day. Notably he recently defeated Tsonga comfortably in Montreal who is a major threat in his quarter. While he lost to Basilashvili next up, he won a higher percentage of service points on the day and took the opening set 6-2. That bodes well as Basiliashvili is the high seed in his quarter this week and a third of his price outright. The seeded semi opponent is Pouille or Verdasco. As mentioned, Pouille can be dangerous but he is also very inconsistent, half the price of Struff outright and he also lost their only meeting this year in straight sets. Verdasco is always opposable on indoor hard as his forehand needs time and height for his long wind up and the Spaniard generally just seems not to enjoy playing on the surface. Goffin is the seeded finalist and while again clearly a threat he has only made one final in nine events as top seed (he lost the final) and he lost the only meeting to Struff in 2019 in straight sets. I can’t help but think Struff should be closer to the price of Pouille, Tsonga and Gasquet (around 11) so at 21 I’ll back the German to buck the trend of both Frenchies winning in Metz and him losing in semis.</p><p><strong>Best Bet:<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank"> Jan-Lennard Struff at 21 with Bet365</a></strong></p></div>