The TBEN departs from Melbourne after an exciting Australian summer of tennis as a trio of ATP 250 tournaments kick off on three different continents and two different surfaces. Argentina will host a clay court event, the Cordoba Open, and two indoor hard court events: the Open Sud de France in Montpellier and the Singapore Open tennis tournament.
Diego Schwartzman will try to win at home in Cordoba, where he reached the final a year ago. Former world No. 1 Andy Murray will make his first touring appearance since last October at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. Held on a one-year license, the Singapore Open tennis tournament will feature Marin Cilic as the former US Open champion aims for a ninth indoor hard court title.
Draw: Cordoba | Montpellier | Singapore
FIVE THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN CORDOBA
1) Already seen for Diego: Cordoba Open seed Schwartzman could face familiar names when he returns to Argentina in search of his first home title. The three-time TBEN title saw five of his compatriots land at his half of the draw, including Guido Pella, who beat him here in the 2019 quarter-finals. Schwartzman could also face fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a rematch of their Cordoba 2020 quarter-final, in which Schwartzman claimed their fifth consecutive victory in their ATP Head2Head record.
2) Fly the flag: White and sky blue are two colors that never go out of style in Argentina, and the country’s iconic flag is sure to fly high in Cordoba with seven Argentinian players vying for the main draw. Fourth seed Pella and eighth seed Federico Delbonis will look to add another title to their clay credentials, while former champion Juan Ignacio Londero returns to the site of his first ATP title win Tower.
3) Pair title offer: Second seed Benoit Paire is looking to start his season after being winless at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open. Cordoba’s clay courts could provide him with the spark he needs as he seeks his fourth TBEN title and his first since 2019 in Lyon. All the trophies of the Frenchman’s tour came on clay. He will play Nicolas Jarry or Jaume Munar in his overture.
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4) South American supremacy: Cordoba has crowned two consecutive South American champions since the tournament joined the TBEN calendar in 2019. Argentinian Londero triumphed in the inaugural edition while Chilean Cristian Garin lifted the year trophy last. In doubles, at least one South American player has won the doubles title in each edition. Argentina’s Andres Molteni triumphed in 2019 (with Roman Jebavy) and Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner won in 2020 (with Matwe Middelkoop).
5) Moment of Miomir: Last year Miomir Kecmanovic scored a decisive victory at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhe. But winning his first TBEN trophy on clay came as a surprise even to the Serbian himself, who generally prefers a faster surface. The 21-year-old will be tested in a tough quarter-match, which features seventh seed Thiago Monteiro, #NextGenATP Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild and Roberto Carballes Baena. Kecmanovic also announced on Instagram on Saturday that he would work with former world No.3 David Nalbandian.
FIVE THINGS TO LOOK AT IN MONTPELLIER
1) Murray makes his debut in Montpellier: Murray will take part in his first TBEN event since October after receiving a wild card in Montpellier. The Briton started his season last week at the Biella Challenger Indoor 1, where he reached his first final at any level since 2019. Murray will face Egor Gerasimov in his opener, and he could meet Jannik Sinner in the second turn. The former world No. 1 will try to win his third tour-level title in France.
2) Sinner recharged: #NextGenATP Italy’s Jannik Sinner made an inspired effort to bounce back from a roller coaster race to the Great Ocean Road Open title. But the 19-year-old fell in five sets to Denis Shapovalov in the Australian Open first round. Now that he has had time to rest, Sinner, who trained with Rafael Nadal during quarantine in Melbourne, is ready to go back to his way of winning. The Italian arrives in Montpellier in search of his second title on hard indoor court (also Sofia Open 2020).
3) French domination: The French champions have reigned on the Montpellier courts at the Open Sud de France, lifting the trophy eight times since the first edition of the event in 2010. Lucas Pouille, the 2018 champion, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the titlist 2019, are in the same section of the draw as seeded No.2 David Goffin. Tsonga, who is competing for the first time since last year’s Australian Open, has an intriguing first-round match against Delray Beach finalist Sebastian Korda.
4) Goffin in speed: Second seed David Goffin has already tasted the success of the TBEN on French soil, and he also came to the hard indoor courts by winning the 2014 Moselle Open in Metz. The Belgian is looking for his fifth tour-level title, and his first since winning in Tokyo in 2017.
5) Kontinen / ERV lead the way: Henri Kontinen and Edouard Roger-Vasselin lead the doubles peloton in Montpellier. This is their first year as a team after Roger-Vasselin and Jurgen Melzer advanced to last year’s Nitto ATP Finals. Singles stars competing in doubles on this French ATP 250 include Ugo Humbert / Tsonga and Goffin / Pouille.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN SINGAPORE
1) TBEN action returns to Singapore: The first TBEN of Singapore event in 22 years will take place on indoor hard courts and be held on a one-year license at the 3,000-seat OCBC Arena in Singapore’s sprawling Sports Center. Singapore previously hosted an ATP tournament between 1989-1992 and 1996-1999.
2) Cilic on the load: A great player, Cilic is aiming to win his ninth TBEN crown on indoor courts and win 19 career titles. The victory in Singapore would bring him closer to becoming the sixth active player to win 20 crowns at the circuit level, joining Roger Federer (103), Rafael Nadal (86), Novak Djokovic (82), Andy Murray (46) and Juan Martin del Potro. (22 years old) on the elite list.
3) Fourth chance: Adrian Mannarino is the seed in Singapore and will try to win his second TBEN title. The Frenchman reached nine additional round-level finals, including three indoors. The left-hander will play Ernests Gulbis or Roberto Marcora in the second round.
4) Second time: Second seed John Millman is looking to double his TBEN trophy count after his first victory last year at Nur-Sultan. The Australian veteran is in the same half of the draw as Cilic. Millman will open his campaign in Singapore against his compatriot Matthew Ebden or the Indian Yuki Bhambri.
5) The Belgians are showing the way: The seeds in Singapore’s doubles draw are Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, who have won four TBEN doubles titles together. The second seeds are Rohan Bopanna and Ben McLachlan, which are from India and Japan respectively.