Lyon hosted indoor hard-court event during 1987-2009. After a 7-year absence, it is back on tour with a clay-court tournament. Held just a week before the French Open, it will feature 28 players who need to gain form before the Grand Slam (not the top players, however) or intent on performing well before the local fans (French players).
Weather and courts
Weather conditions in Lyon are superb! 20-25°C above zero, no rain and average humidity. Wind is expected to be at about 15-20 kmph. Given the fact that the players had an opportunity to adapt to these conditions during the previous events, they should face no troubles now.
As for the courts, the event officials did their best to make the surface as similar as possible with the French Open courts to let the players practice prior to the major event.
The French players are not so numerous this year, but all of them can run deep: Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Benoit Paire, Nicolas Mahut. Jo-Wilfred is actively getting back into form after the shoulder injury. Most probably, he won’t load his shoulder a lot, but will tune up before the French Open.
Benoit Paire looks good but his chances will mainly depend on his opponents.
The star-studded field includes Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych. A hamstring injury kept the Canadian out for a while but now he can test himself and struggle for a title. There are no challenging players on his way. Juan Martin Del Potro has registered a couple of wins in Rome and now will most probably meet Milos Raonic in the second round.
Tomas Berdych is in mediocre form, but will necessarily lose to anyone before the semis stage. Nick hasn’t tuned in yet.
Borna Coric and Karen Khachanov (the both are seeded in the bottom half of the draw) can surprise.
The first-round match not to miss!
The most fascinating battle in the first round will be between Marcel Granollers and Argentine tall Juan Martin del Potro. It's definitely worth watching.
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