The organizers of the ATP 250 event in Metz have announced the first three players that will compete at the Moselle Open between September 17-23, including the champion from two years ago. The French players have won seven of the last nine titles in Metz and one of those is Lucas Pouille who celebrated here in 2016, hoping to repeat that in two and a half months time as well. Lucas is currently ranked 19th but outside three good results in February he mostly struggled in the first part of the season, including an early Wimbledon exit to Dennis Novak. Lucas won the title in Metz on his debut in 2016, beating David Goffin and Dominic Thiem in the last two matches, but he lost to Marius Copil in two tie breaks last year, unable to repeat the success and defend the crown.
The 32-year-old Tomas Berdych will celebrate the birthday in Metz, making his first appearance at this event. The winner of six indoor ATP titles has been struggling to find the right form in 2018 so far and he will drop out from the Top 50 for the first time since 2005 after being forced to skip Wimbledon due to back problems. We are going from the veteran to a teenager, with the 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas ready to play in Metz for the second year in a row. In 2017, the Greek was ranked outside the Top 100 and he had to qualify for the main draw where he lost in the first round to Benoit Paire. A lot has changed since then and Stefanos is now on a verge of entering the Top 30 after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, winning already 22 matches so far in 2018. The organizers will try to add more good players and we can expect more home stars in the battle for the title, as they all love to compete in front of the partisan crowd that carried them to so many triumphs here in the last 15 years.