As ‘Frantic February’ continues on the ATP circuit, the second of five tournaments held in France during the course of the year, kicks off in Marseille. Since the inaugural tournament in 1993, the Marseille tournament, an ATP 250 now, has been a regular on the tennis calendar. The 2019 Marseille Open preview, live streaming options and draw updates can be found below.
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Similar to the more recently started ATP 250 at Montpellier, the tournament has had its fair share of French winners and is always well represented by players from the host nation.
This year, we have had some late withdrawals, with defending champion Karen Khachanov, and Czech veteran Tomas Berdych pulling out. However, the draw is still well represented with highly ranked players on the circuit and makes for an interesting week ahead.
‘Next Gen’ Greek sensation and top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has had a quiet and disappointing February thus far, after his semi final run at the Australian Open last month, defeating Roger Federer en route.
His performance at the ATP 250 in Sofia, and the ATP 500 at Rotterdam, were below expectations and he will be looking for a much better showing here this week. Tsitsipas is scheduled to meet Belgian David Goffin in the semi-finals from the top half of the draw.
Tsitsipas has a first round bye, but has some potentially challenging opponents before the semi-finals. A possible second round against Serbian Filip Krajinovic can be tricky, and then he runs into the possibility of facing Gael Monfils in the quarter finals.
Monfils got the better of Tsitsipas in Sofia last week and has also qualified for the finals at the ATP Rotterdam 500 scheduled for this Sunday. Monfils, although unpredictable, has had some fine wins in the last two weeks and will be taking a lot of confidence with him to Marseille.
Belgian David Goffin, finalist at the ATP Tour Finals in London in 2017, has had a mix of problems with injuries and indifferent form of late. 2018 ended prematurely for him, and 2019 has not been smooth for him either thus far. Goffin could run into Frenchmen Benoit Paire and Giles Simon before he makes the semi-finals.
Both Frenchmen can be a challenge to Goffin and he will need to be in better form than he has been lately.
The bottom half of the draw has ‘Next Gen’ stars Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov seeded to meet in the semi-finals, but not before both have their own tricky opponents to get past.
Coric has Latvian Ernests Gulbis, and veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in his quarter. Gulbis, though inconsistent of late, has been on a comeback trail of sorts, and won the title here in 2014. On his day, he can be a tricky opponent for the best of players. Verdasco needs no introduction and continues to be a consistent factor on the tour with every passing year.
Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov, had a decent run at Rotterdam, making the quarter finals and probably has the toughest quarter of all the top four seeds. With an early encounter against Mikhail Kukushkin on the cards, Shapovalov could run into fellow rising star Andrey Rublev or French veterans Jeremy Chardy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before the final four.
All are capable of big results, and Tsonga especially has been on a comeback trail this season, having already won the Montpellier title two week ago.
There remains no obvious favorite at Marseille from the draw. The likes of Tsitsipas, Coric, and Shapovalov will like a deep run and/or a title under their belt before the season gets busier with the Sunshine Masters and the clay court season ahead.
At the same time, the more seasoned veterans like Tsonga, Monfils, and Goffin will want to solidify their form and confidence further. February gets busier and the fields get more competitive and we look forward to yet another week of tennis excitement.