The reigning ATP 250 Lyon champion Dominic Thiem is set to defend the crown between May 19-25, presented on the official poster together with 2017 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tomas Berdych and John Isner are also confirmed to play the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes just before the Roland Garros, hoping to build the momentum before the second Grand Slam of the season.
Eight of Thiem's 11 ATP titles have come on clay and he has been one of the most successful players on the slowest surface in the last couple of years, reaching the final at Madrid Masters in the last couple of seasons and also the title match at Roland Garros last June.
That was the most prominent result in a career for Thiem so far and it came after clinching the title in Lyon where he struggled against the lower-ranked players but managed to go all the way and lift the tenth ATP trophy.
In the quarter-final, Dominic prevailed against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in just under three hours (the match was halted due to darkness after the opening two sets and continued on the following day), digging deep against Dusan Lajovic as well to set the final clash against Gilles Simon.
The Austrian needed two hours and 25 minutes to dismiss the Frenchman 3-6, 7-6, 6-1, managing to cross the finish line first despite trailing 6-3, 4-2, 40-15! Standing on the verge of defeat, Dominic found the way to pull the break back and reach the tie break that he won 7-1, gathering the momentum and dominating in the decider to lift the trophy after spending eight and a half hours on the court in four matches.
Theim was off to a slow start in 2019, playing just seven encounters before Indian Wells where he has reached the semi-final after withdrawal of Gael Monfils before their quarter-final clash.