The Open Sud de France in Montpellier had moved to this city in 2010 when the organizers bought a license from Lyon, staged at the Arena with the capacity of 7500. In the first seven editions (it stayed away from the calendar in 2011), the French players had a lot of success, with three titles for Richard Gasquet and two for Gael Monfils who was also the first champion.
Also, they were also beaten in the finals six times, including 2017 when Alexander Zverev stole the show in front of Gasquet. In the all-French final, Lucas Pouille toppled Richard Gasquet a year ago and it should be a great run towards the crown next week as well, with some high-quality indoor players in the draw.
The defending champion Lucas Pouille is the top seed, facing Jiri Vesely or a qualifier in the second round before the quarter-final clash against Ernests Gulbis, Hubert Hurkacz, Radu Albot or the 5th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber who struggled a lot in Davis Cup matches against Hungary.
Gilles Simon has played here seven times before without reaching the final, opening the campaign with a tricky second-round encounter against Ugo Humbert or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who suffered a nasty injury here a year ago. Steve Darcis, Mischa Zverev and the 6th seed Jeremy Chardy are also in the second quarter and it will be interesting to see who will emerge as a winner and reach the semis.
Denis Shapovalov received a wild card and he will be the 3rd seed, facing Ivo Karlovic or Marcel Granollers in round two. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Denis Kudla, Ilya Ivashka and Tomas Fabbiano are in contention for the semi-final spot as well, especially if Shapovalov fails to adapt his game to hard court after competing on clay in Bratislava on Friday and Saturday.
David Goffin and Benoit Paire are the seeds in the bottom quarter, having to pass Evgeny Donskoy, Filip Krajinovic and 2012 champion Tomas Berdych who had an excellent run in Doha and Melbourne after missing the second half of the last season due to a back injury.