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Montpellier 2021: Men's singles draw analysis, preview & prediction

Andy Murray
Andy Murray
ANALYST
Modified 20 Feb 2021
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Former top 10 players Roberto Bautista Agut and David Goffin lead a packed field at the 2021 edition of the Open Sud de France, which will be played at Montpellier from 22 to 28 February.

Making up for the absence of defending champion Gael Monfils and last year's finalist Vasek Pospisil are the likes of Dusan Lajovic, Ugo Humbert and Jannik Sinner. Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also make a return to tennis action at the ATP 250 event.

With main draw action set to begin on Monday, here's a look at the prospects of the top names in the field.

Top half: Roberto Bautista Agut faces a tough challenge from youngsters

Roberto Bautista Agut
Roberto Bautista Agut

Expected semifinal: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Dusan Lajovic

Analysis: The top half of the draw will see the big names take on a bunch of talented youngsters. Roberto Bautista Agut, the top seed in this year's draw, could face some stiff opposition from Ugo Humbert in the last eight.

The big-serving Umbert has been handed a tricky opening couple of rounds himself, but is likely to benifit from the indoor conditions and the boisterous home crowds.

Third seed Dusan Lajovic, meanwhile, will need to be wary of Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, his potential quarterfinal opponent. But Lajovic will first have to get past a tricky second round match, where he is set to face the winner of the Denis Novak-Gilles Simon matchup.

Predicted semifinal: Ugo Humbert vs Jan-Lennard Struff

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Dark horse: Gilles Simon

Bottom half: Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga land in a packed section on their return to tennis

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga

Expected semifinal: Hubert Hurkacz vs David Goffin

Analysis: Making their return to tennis action, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have landed in the packed bottom half. Both the veterans will have to take on quality players early in their campaign.

Murray will need to find a way past Belarusian youngster Egor Gerasimov in a tough opener. A win for the Brit could seed him set up an enticing matchup against Jannik Sinner, the latest entrant on the list of Next Gen stars.

Tsonga's path is similarly fraught with hurdles. If the Frenchman comes through his opener against the fast-rising Sebastian Korda, he will find himself up against either Lorenzo Sonego or compatriot Hugo Gaston - both of whom can prove to to be tough challenges for Tsonga.

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David Goffin, the second seed, has looked completely out of sorts in recent weeks. The Belgian will be looking at his relatively easy opening rounds as a chance to rediscover his form.

Predicted semifinal: Jannik Sinner vs Sebastian Korda

Dark horse: Andy Murray

Notable first round matches

Denis Novak vs Gilles Simon

Jannik Sinner vs Alijaz Bedene

Lorenzo Sonego vs Hugo Gaston

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Sebastian Korda

Published 20 Feb 2021, 22:26 IST
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