ATP Marseille: French stars, Nick Kyrgios confirmed to be in action

Kyrgios, the defending champion, will be joined by the top four French singles players in Marseille next February.

ATP Marseille: French stars, Nick Kyrgios confirmed to be in action
Nick Kyrgios holds the trophy after beating Marin Cilic in the Open 13 final this year (Getty/Jean Catuffe)

The Open 13, an ATP event to take place towards the end of February next year, has confirmed that defending champion Nick Kyrgios will once again be in action, alongside the French quartet of Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, and Lucas Pouille.

Kyrgios, who was unseeded last year as he took his maiden ATP singles title by beating Marin Cilic in the final, will be looking to defend his points as he aims to continue rising up the rankings, whilst Monfils, Gasquet, and Pouille will be looking to make up for disappointment last year; Tsonga will be returning to the event after not entering last year.

French stars looking for home success

Tsonga, who is to miss a large chunk of the end of 2016, is the only one of the Frenchman currently entered to have won in Marseille before, taking the title back in 2009 and 2013. He was also the runner-up in 2014, and having won four other titles on his home soil, he’ll be a strong contender for the title.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with the title in 2013 (AFP/Gerard Julien)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with the title in 2013 (AFP/Gerard Julien)

Monfils and Gasquet also know how to play well in the France, with the former winning three of his six titles in his home country, and Gasquet winning an impressive five titles in France. However, neither of them have won in Marseille. With Monfils reaching the final in 2015 and withdrawing last year, and Gasquet never making the final, losing to Kyrgios in the last eight, both will be looking to take the title this time.

In contrast, Pouille is in the relatively early stages of his career, having yet to win an ATP title. However, he has been having the best year of his career by far and he should be able to improve on his first round loss to Andrey Kuznetsov at the tournament earlier this year.

Kyrgios looks to continue progression by defending title

It has been a pretty solid year for the Australian, and his maiden ATP title in Marseille was certainly a big factor in that.

Unseeded, Kyrgios did not drop a set on his way to taking the title, and a second title in Atlanta has seen him become a solid top-twenty player in 2016. As he looks to crack the top ten, the Australian will be eager to defend his points to strengthen his chances of doing that in 2017.