The 2018 Open de Sud tennis tournament will follow right after Davis Cup. It also fired up just one week after the end of the Australian Open. That means you’re not going to find too many high-end players in Montpellier, the suburban area where this event is held. Unfortunately for locals, they aren’t going to see the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Nevertheless, it’s part of the winter indoor season in the new calendar year. A few more events will be held indoors in Europe before the emergence into outdoor hardcourts with Indian Wells in March, which leads into the rest of the tennis season.
The competition in the 28-player main draw begins on Monday, February 5.
Event: Open de Sud France
Category: ATP 250 Series
Date: February 5-11, 2018
Location: Montpellier Park & Suites Arena – Montpellier, France
The 2018 Open de Sud event is more lucrative than it was last year, with a prize money allotment of just over 501,000 Euros, a jump of nearly 19,000 Euros from 2017. This is good bang for the buck as far as pros are concerned at the ATP 250 level. With 28 players, there are four byes for the four top seeds. That means the top four seeds are guaranteed a higher paycheck than the various first-round match losers.
Champion – 250
Runner-up – 150
Semifinal – 90
Quarterfinal – 45
Former Champions and Results
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2017: Alexander Zverev def. Richard Gasquet, 7-6, 6-3
2016: Richard Gasquet def. Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 6-4
2015: Richard Gasquet def. Jerzy Janowicz 3-0, ret.
2014: Gael Monfils def. Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4
2013: Richard Gasquet def. Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3
David Goffin ended his 2017 by winning two matches in France in the Davis Cup Final. He beat both Lucas Pouille and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are the second and third seeds, placed just below the top-seeded Belgian. The prospect of a Davis Cup rematch between either player could be a crowd-pleasing conclusion to the event, if upsets are avoided in the early rounds. Goffin was 53-24 on the main tour draw last year and was 23-9 on the hard courts. Indoor, he was 16-8. So far this season, though, he’s just 1-1 on the year.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga is the third seed, coming off an Australian Open in which he beat Denis Shapovalov in five sets and pushed Nick Kyrgios in a tight four-set match. Tsonga served really well in Melbourne – if he can deliver a similarly lofty degree of quality on his serve at this tournament, he will play in Saturday’s semifinals for sure, and own a great chance to lift the trophy on Sunday. He played well on the indoor hard courts last year. Oddly enough, he was just 7-6 on the outdoor ones but once he moved inside, he was 20-4 overall.
Richard Gasquet did not play poorly in his Australian Open loss to Roger Federer. If he brings that level of tennis to Montpellier, he should make a deep run. So far this season, Gasquet is just 3-2. The hard courts are not his best surface as he was just 9-6 on the hard courts last year with a record of 10-6 indoors.
Andrey Rublev, part of the “Next Generation” cohort of tennis players, will add youthful exuberance to this tournament. Rublev will be constantly watched this year and compared to other Next Gen notables such as Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, and Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung. Rublev has had a very good start to the year as he is 6-2 in his eight matches so far.
David Ferrer, in his mid-30s, is not as fast or as effective as he used to be, but he flourished for a brief period of time last summer. Can he still find ways to turn back the clock and surprise younger players with his court craft and tennis IQ?
Montpellier Park and Suites Arena
A building which began to be constructed nearly 10 years ago and which opened to the public this decade, the Park and Suites Arena will be a cozy long-term home for this tournament. Its central stadium court seats 7,500 for tennis and holds more for basketball, still more for other public events.
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