From the other thread:
I know I shouldn't be scared, but Mahut can be impressive sometimes
I remember watch him play on grass and I was simply amazed
Mahut knows Gilles gets the balls back, so he is going to try to outpower him.. Ig Gillou keeps the rhythm and get the balls back, Mahut is likely to lose patience and make a lot of unforced errors.
Watch out for Mahut using the drop shot as he can be remarkable in that field, while Gillou's getting to the net is not the most brilliant part of his game at all..
Maybe Mahut will find the answers at the net... We'll see how it goes..
I'm not scared because I have zero expectations for this tournament, but I agree you should be if you badly want Gillou to win.
Mahut is a very tricky opponent for him in the 1st round imo for many reasons:
- I think they know each other very well (everytime I've seen Gilles practice, it was with Nico, Di saw them practice together in Nottingham too...) So the confusing effect of Gillou's game won't do the job with Nico. Even if the other players know about the flaws in his game, especially on short balls, most of them don't play a lot of dropshots against him for some reason, maybe because they get caught up in his game. I don't think it will happen with Nico who is used to play against him and I expect Nico to play a lot of dropshots indeed.
- Nico is DYING to do well at the moment. I translated an article for his thread the other day ("Mahut on a mission") and I saw him in Bangkok too last week, it was obvious, he was really playing with rage, almost provoked the crowd when he played Udomchoke in the 1st round.
I don't think Gilles will be in raging mood at all, he's more coming out of his hibernation (and he has not much to win in Metz, while Mahut really, really needs to salvage his season now).
Most of the other guys in Metz are starting their indoor season there, like Gilles, but not Nico who has already played 2 tournaments indoors (and done quite well at them).
Plus the surface of Metz seems to suit Nico who almost made it to the final there last year.
Nico probably wants to win so badly that he can turn into a headcase (the pressure to defend his points from last year), happens all the time with him. Or maybe the jetlag will catch up with him too.
Otherwise I think it's completely even.
That was another novel from me, sorry... ^^