Fifth seed Tommy Paul and unseeded Benjamin Bonzi will face off in the first round at the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday. A second-round showdown with either Zhang Zhizhen or Jan-Lennard Struff awaits the winner. Benjamin Bonzi is making his return after a two-month injury layoff. He injured his wrist in Monte-Carlo and could struggle with fitness here. Before the injury, the Frenchman had compiled a record of 12 wins and nine losses. He has won 18 of the 25 matches he has played on grass since making his debut in 2016. His strength on the surface should have him confident of claiming his first win over Paul. Bonzi is currently 75th in the live ranking and has played two finals already this season.
Tommy Paul arrives in Stuttgart to make his season debut on grass after his second-round elimination at the French Open. The American started the week having moved up one place to 15th in the live ranking which is a new career high. He has managed to compile a record of 21 wins and 12 losses with half of those defeats coming in his 11 matches on clay. As he is also a decent player on grass, he will hope to get back to the form he was in at the start of the year. Paul won 16 of his opening 22 matches to the year which resulted in him breaking into the top 20. He has played two finals so far and made the semifinals in Melbourne for the first time at a Grand Slam. Paul has won both encounters with Bonzi which took place last season. This however will be their first meeting on grass.
Our prediction for Benjamin Bonzi v Tommy Paul is for Paul to win. Paul has never lost to Bonzi and with the Frenchman just coming back from injury, match fitness could be an issue here. Though facing an opponent with good numbers on grass, this should be another win for Paul.