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Tsonga vs Diez ATP Lyon Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga faces qualifier Diez for a spot in Lyon quarters

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 21 May 2019
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Steven Diez is live from Lyon on Wednesday, 22 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST
  • First meeting between Tsonga and Diez
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (PA Sport)

Former champion, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will attempt to reach the Lyon quarter finals when he takes on Canadian qualifier, Steven Diez in the second round on Wednesday.

Tsonga is on a five-match winning streak in Lyon, having won the event in his most recent visit in 2017, when he defeated Karen Khachanov and Tomas Berdych en route claiming the title, and beaten Dusan Lajovic in his opening match on his return to the tournament on Sunday.

That 7-6 6-4 victory over Lajovic was his first at a tour-level meet on European clay this season, as the Frenchman had fallen at the first hurdles in Monte Carlo and Rome. The former world No. 5 opened his clay-court season in Marrakech, where he made the semi-finals losing to compatriot, Benoit Paire, but a back injury forced him to retire from his Monte Carlo opener with Taylor Fritz, while he was beaten in straight sets by Fabio Fognini on his return to the ATP Tour in Rome. In between Monte Carlo and Rome, he stopped over at the Bordeaux Challenger, where he made the quarter finals.

Around this period last season, Tsonga was nursing a knee injury, which had required surgery in April, and would keep him out of action until September. The 34-year-old won just one of his six matches in his return to the tour, and was down at 239th in the rankings at the end of the year.

He has worked his way back into the top 100- he is currently ranked 85th- on the back of a good start to the season. Tsonga won the Montpellier title, his first trophy since Antwerp in October 2017, while he made the semi-finals in Brisbane and quarter-finals in Rotterdam in a very encouraging start to the year. He made a decent start to his clay campaign, reaching the semi-finals in Marrakech, but he has lost some momentum with that injury in Monte Carlo, and has only just got back to winning ways at tour-level in Lyon.

With more than an eye on his home Slam at Roland Garros, Tsonga will hope for a confidence boosting deep run in Lyon, where he plays qualifier, Steven Diez for a spot in the quarter finals on Wednesday. 

28-year-old Diez has spent most of his career plugging away on the ITF and Challenger circuits, and his first round victory over Bernard Tomic (which was via retirement) was only his second ever main draw win at tour-level. His only other victory at this level was against Great Britain's Kyle Edmund at the Rogers Cup in 2016.

Diez has generally been good on the Challenger tour this year, winning the title in Burnie in January, and making semi-finals in Morelos (in Mexico), and Ostrava. Those results have taken him to his current ranking of 262nd, from being placed outside the top 400 in January. His career-high ranking is 162nd, attained in October 2016.

Lyon is the first ATP Tour event he's featured in this season, (either via the qualifiers or main draw), and he battled through a couple of tough three setters against Alexei Popyrin and Quentin Halys in the qualifying rounds to get into a tour level main draw for the first time since April 2017 (Barcelona Open).

The Canadian lead Bernard Tomic 6-4 4-1 before the Australian retired. Can he now string together back-to-back tour-level wins for the first time in his career when he plays Tsonga for the first time on Wednesday?

There is a gaping gulf in class between the two- Tsonga has won 446 tour-level matches through his career, while Diez has only just picked up his second. As long as Tsonga maintains his base level, and his body does not act up, the powerful Frenchman should stretch his Lyon winning streak to six, and advance to his fifth quarter final of the season.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Steven Diez is live from Lyon on Wednesday, 22 May from 2:00pm local time/ 1:00pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance


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Tsonga vs Diez ATP Lyon Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsonga faces qualifier Diez for a spot in Lyon quarters

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues his Lyon bid on Wednesday when he plays Steven Diez. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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