2013 Open Sud de France Overview
The Open Sud de France has been an important indoor hard court tournament since its inception in 1987. It was originally played in Paris but the ATP World Tour Series 250 event has taken place in Montpellier since 2010 and this is where all the drama of the 2013 Open Sud de France took place. The tournament was on from 4-10 February and featured 3 of the world’s top 10 ranked players: Tomas Berdych #6, Janko Tipsarevic #9 and Richard Gasquet #10.
See also: 2013 Southern California Open Review
It was certainly an alluring tournament for these top players with just 28 entrants and prize money of €467,100 (est. $616,000). This meant the top 4 seeds only needed to win 4 matches to claim the prize. Top seed Tomas Berdych sustained a wrist injury and was forced to withdraw which provided #5 seed Nikolay Davydenko with a bye instead.
However, it was local favorite Richard Gasquet who benefited most from Berdych’s withdrawal as he won his 4 matches and the tournament. It was the Frenchman’s second singles title of the season and showcased his considerable talent as he was rarely troubled throughout the tournament. In his second round match against Gael Monfils, quarter-final against Julien Benneteau and semi-final against Jarkko Nieminen, he was taken to the final set but on each occasion, he found an extra gear and won easily. The final was probably the easiest match of the tournament for Gasquet as he crushed Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3.
Of the other three players who received a bye, only Giles Simon won a match and he was dispatched in the quarter-final by Paire. Overall, Gasquet showed his class and was a deserving winner in what was the ninth title of his increasingly impressive career and the €74,000 (est. $98,000) first prize isn’t bad either!
The doubles draw consisted of 16 teams with Colin Fleming and Jonathan Murray from the UK ranked #1. However, they fell to the team of Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klassen in the semi-finals. Marc Gicquel and Michael Llodra from France were the surprise winners as the unseeded duo defeated Klassen and Brunstrom 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 in an epic final. They earned 250 ranking points and prize money of €22,500 ($30,000).
As you can see from the prize money awarded and the quality of the participants, the Open Sud de France 2013 was taken very seriously by top pros and Richard Gasquet can take the confidence of a big win with him and perhaps land a major title later on this year.
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