MARSEILLE, February 14, 2016
The Open 13 Provence with a total prize money of €665,910 presents a strong line-up for its 24th edition taking place at the Palais des Sports in Marseille from 15 to 21 February.
Three top 10-players entered the tournament with a 28-man-draw, led by world number four Stan Wawrinka. The reigning Roland Garros champion receives a bye in the opening round, awaiting the winner of the encounter between Feliciano López and Sergiy Stakhovsky. Wawrinka reached the quarterfinals last year in Marseille, which is also his best result in France’s second largest city, located in the country’s south coast.
The tournament’s second seed is Tomas Berdych. The world number eight from the Czech Republic will face the winner of the match between a qualifier and wild card Alexander Zverev. A second tour meeting with the German teenager can already be one of the highlights in the early stages of the event. Zverev lost the only previous match with Berdych in Stockholm last year, but is in good shape, as he reached the semi-finals in Montpellier as well as the stage of the final eight in Rotterdam this week. Berdych, Marseille’s finalist of 2013, will play his first event since losing in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open to Roger Federer.
Third favourite Richard Gasquet will return to action, after he had withdrawn from the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam this week due to illness. The 29-year-old Frenchman already captured the ATP 250 title in Montpellier two weeks ago and will take on the winner of the match between a qualifier and Ernests Gulbis.
The tournament’s number four Marin Cilic reached the third round of the Australian Open but lost his opening match on European soil in Montpellier to Alexander Zverev. The world number 13 will play either Robin Haase or Joao Sousa.
Further seeds in Marseille are two time winner and defending champion Gilles Simon (vs Teymuraz Gabashvili), David Goffin (vs Hyeon Chung), Rotterdam finalist Gael Monfils (vs French wild card Quentin Halys) and Benoit Paire (vs Simone Bolelli).
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“It is an amazing field this year. We are used to welcome at least two top 10-players but it is great to have more players from the top 20 to 30 as well. We also have a lot of players with a high potential like Hyeon Chung and Nick Kyrgios in the line-up,” tournament director Jean-Francois Caujolle stated.
“The tournament is financially healthy due to its strong field but therefore it is important to have a good spot in the ATP calendar. We are part of the European swing, when players do not have to travel a lot. We have also added some new partners to support the tournament. This is important to remain the tournament ecomonmically sound, which helps us to present such good field again,” he continued. With Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, only one big French name is missing this year.
“He is playing the South American-swing this year in order to have a test for the Olympic Games. He received an offer from Buenos Aires, which might be better for his body to play on clay in order to get used to the conditions again. Tsonga is a very charismatic player and we are happy that he is going to return to Marseille next year.”