By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nick Kyrgios, Lucas Pouille
- Defending Champion: Nick Kyrgios
- British Interest: Aljaz Bedene
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
MARSEILLES FRANCE – Nick Kyrgios returns to Marseille to defend his title, but could face some tough opposition as an in-form title winning Jo-Wilfried Tsonga comes in as second seed.
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
It has been a while since the exuberant Frenchman was in action, after falling in the fourth round of the Australian Open. The top seed has had some fair fortune on French turf (or hard-court if we are going to be accurate) and was a finalist in his last appearance here in 2015, losing to compatriot Gilles Simon.
He ought to be confident of at least reading the quarter-finals as he has done twice before, and could face Richard Gasquet who has not had quite as much luck here, only reaching the semi-finals once.
There can be no denying that the Frenchman is rounding into some form just now. He fought from a set down to deny David Goffin a second title in as many weeks and has actually had a good trot out on the European hard courts post-Melbourne.
If he is not feeling too fatigued, Marseille has always proved to be a good hunting ground for the French No. 1 as he flirts once more with the Top 10 after his title-winning run. He is a three time finalist and a two-time champion in Marseille and he has a decent draw to at least make a dash for it.
The defending champion returns for his first ATP World Tour outing since the Australian Open, where his time was short-lived with a second round exit, and a winning turn at Davis Cup.
Marseille should have a special place in Kyrgios’ heart – he won his first ATP World Tour title here last year, and it paved the way for two more in 2016. However the draw has possibly thrown up an obstacle in Alexander Zverev as a possible quarter-final foe. The German is already sporting hardware this year, and Kyrgios will need to be back to his focussed best to make it two titles in a row here.
A toe injury has made a bit of a mess of Pouille’s year. Having had a solid year, Pouille had to retire against Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round at Brisbane, and really did not look like he was match-ready in Melbourne.
He made his return last week in Rotterdam but was eased out by Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round, and so needs some match wins under his belt. However, he has yet to get a win here and could be an early casualty if he is still a little rusty around the edges.
The Open 13 Provence takes place between 20-26 February – (GMT +1 hours).
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