The 2017 edition of the 13 Open – the ATP Tour stop in Marseille, France – gets underway next week. The 250-point event comes with a little more distance after the Australian Open relative to other tour events in Rotterdam, Sofia, Montpellier, and elsewhere in Europe. Some players might carry over from previous weeks in France and at other European tournaments, but some might come to Marseille with fresh legs in an attempt to build up to Indian Wells in March. In total, there are seven players inside the Top 20 who will be participating. While we won’t see Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, but this should still be a very competitive tournament. As per usual, Gael Monfils will not only be one of the favorites according to the betting odds, he’ll be one of the crowd favorites. Monfils, who is from France, is always a hometown hero when he participates in any tournament in from of his countrymen. We’ll see if he can bring home the trophy and make the audience happy.
The competition in the 28-player main draw began on Monday, February 20.
Event: Open 13 Provence
Category: ATP World Tour – 250 Series
Date: February 20 – February 26, 2017
Location: Palais des Sports – Marseille, France
With a prize money allotment of roughly 620,000 Euros, ATP pros can’t complain much about the purse in a 28-player field, with the top four seeds guaranteed a second-round paycheck. As mentioned above, this tournament (in the latter half of February) offers genuine value as a tune-up for Indian Wells, which is right around the corner. In the earlier half of February, it’s advisable for top pros to rest after Australia, but now, it’s time to begin to make an investment in the winter hard court season.
Champion – 250
Runner-up – 150
Semifinal – 90
Quarterfinal – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2011 – Nick Kyrgios def. Marin Cilic – 6-2, 7-6
2015 – Gilles Simon d. Gael Monfils – 6-4, 1-6, 7-6
2014 – Ernests Gulbis def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – 7-6, 6-4
2013 – Jo-wilfried Tsonga def. Tomas Berdych – 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
2012 – Juan Martin del Potro def. Michael Llodra – 6-4, 6-4
It’s a very formidable main-draw contingent in Marseille, with seven players inside the top 20 of the ATP rankings at the moment.
Gael Monfils is the top seed, Grigor Dimitrov second, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga third, and defending champion Nick Kyrgios fourth. These players will get byes into the second round and have a modest but real edge over their counterparts in the battle for the title.
Dimitrov, purely based on form, should be the favorite. He has lost only one match this season. He won a title in his native Bulgaria recently. He pushed Rafael Nadal in Australia. He looks like a reborn player who is ready to win at a much higher level than in the past.
In terms of players outside the top four, Alexander “Sascha” Zverev, seeded sixth, is the one to watch. He almost got Nadal in Melbourne but lost in five sets. He did bounce back to win both singles and doubles in Montpellier. He will command attention throughout the 2017 tennis season. The other major players in Marseille are very hard to gauge at this point.
Look for both Monfils and Tsonga to get a home-court advantage here. Both are from France, so they are going to get a lot of love from the audience, who will be hoping to see their countrymen win. Without the four big boys around, there is a reasonable chance that Monfils and Tsonga can go a long way in this event.
Palais des Sports
The 13 Open Provence will unfold mostly on the center court of the Palais des Sports. The prime arena for the tournament opened in December of 1988. The main stadium is a 5,800-seat arena in which the crowd has good sight lines in a compact environment which contains noise and creates a good atmosphere with the energy befitting high-level tennis. The French crowds normally have a lot of French players to support at the event, which adds a certain zest and crackle to the week in Marseille.
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