ATP Marrakech: Defending champion Borna Coric returns to Marrakech

The Entry List for the first Clay tournament on the calendar has been released. Former champions, runners-up, youngsters, and veterans will be competing in the heart of the African capital of Marrakech, Morocco.

ATP Marrakech: Defending champion Borna Coric returns to Marrakech
Borna Coric winning his maiden title here in Marrakech, Morocco (Photo: ATP World Tour)

With the 2018 Grand Prix Hassan II being the opener in clay calendar, it is also the only tournament in Africa. Croatian Borna Coric will return to the tournament as the defending champion. 

Four former finalists headline the draw

Borna Coric will remember this moment for the rest of his life as in 2017, he defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber to win his first ever ATP World Tour title and will be back in Africa in hope of defending his title. 

German Kohlschreiber who lost out last year will return to Morocco with the aim of winning the title. Federico Delbonis who won the title back in 2016 will traditionally kick off his clay adventures in Africa.

Gilles Simon picking up the Grand Prix Hassan II title in 2008 (Photo: Abdelhak Senna/Getty Images)
Gilles Simon picking up the Grand Prix Hassan II title in 2008 (Photo: Abdelhak Senna/Getty Images)

Current World number 69 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and winner of this tournament that has moved to Marrakech will be in action. The Spaniard won in 2014 and will be amongst a number of other of his compatriots competing.  

The fourth and final winner of this title Gilles Simon will join a number of other winners in this year's tournament. The Frenchman won the title in 2008 beating fellow countryman Julien Benneteau. 

Frenchmen and Germans well represented 

Four Frenchmen will enter this years draw. In past editions of this tournament, there have been three French title winners. They will be hoping to make it a fourth with four French players opting to begin the long clay calendar in Morocco. The most notable names include Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Simon as previously mentioned and Benoit Paire.

Benoit Paire will be joining three other Frenchmen in the draw (Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Benoit Paire will be joining three other Frenchmen in the draw (Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Germans will join France in having four players participating. In past tournaments, the Germans have yet to lift the trophy in Africa and will be hoping to do so. Along with 2017 runner-up Kohlschreiber, Mischa Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, and 22-year-old Maximilian Marterer make up the other three Germans well expressed. 

Other notable names competing 

Great Britain's Kyle Edmund and Bosnia's Damir Dzhumhur who have both been on the rise in the past few years are set to be the second and third seeds. Edmund, who suffered injury will be looking to get back on track while Dzhumhur will look to build on a poor start. 

Paris Masters finalist and recent Dubai semifinalist Filip Krajinovic will be looking to continue his promising start to the season. Dutchman Robin Haase and Ukranian Alexandr Dolgopolov join the field in arguably their weakest surface. 

Kyle Edmund will make be making his debut and hoping to continue his comeback from injury (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Kyle Edmund will make be making his debut and hoping to continue his comeback from injury (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Italian's who are masters of this surface has two veterans of the game competing in Paolo Lorenzi and Andreas Seppi. They will be joined by a third compatriot in Thomas Fabbiano. Italian's have traditionally done well here winning three times. 

Jiri Vesely, Marton Fucsovics, Joao Sousa and Mirza Basic will be the sole representative from their country. Three out of the four have yet to pick up a title this year with Basic being the exception. However, the Hungarian ranked 65 has yet to pick up an ATP title.