Open Sud de France
Montpellier, France; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, Nikolay Davydenko, Julien Benneteau, Viktor Troicki, Benoit Paire
Floaters: Jarkko Nieminen, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Gael “Force” Monfils, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Mikhail Kukushkin, Michael Llodra
Notes: Berdych and a slew of Frenchies lead the seeds, Berdych after his Davis Cup heroics…Tough openers include (3) Gasquet after a bye likely facing countryman Monfils, (1) Berdych after a bye potentially facing the veteran Nieminen, (5) Davydenko vs. the tricky Stakhovsky, (4) Simon after a bye to face the winner of Mathieu vs. Kukushkin, and (2) Tipsarevic after a bye likely facing the indoor-dangerous Llodra…Berdych a perfect 4-0 at event after winning last year…Other returning champs in field are Monfils (2010), Gasquet (2006), and Mathieu (2002).
PBZ Zagreb Indoors
Zagreb, Croatia; Surface: indoor hard
Seeds: Marin Cilic, Andreas Seppi, Mikhail Youzhny, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer, Martin Klizan, Marcos Baghdatis, Grigor Dimitrov, Lukas Lacko
Floaters: “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic
Notes: Soft openers for (1) Cilic and (2) Seppi after byes…Real lack of tough openers, excluding (7) Dimitrov against Karlovic…seeds Klizan and Dimitrov make debuts at event…wildcards went to three Croats you’ve never heard of unless you’re members at their club…Youzhny beat Lacko in last year’s final…Other returning champs are Dodig (2011), Cilic (2010-09) and Baghdatis (2007).
VTR Open by Cachantun
Vina del Mar, Chile; Surface: red clay
Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Juan Monaco, Jeremy Chardy, Pablo Andujar, Albert Ramos, Paolo Lorenzi, Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Carlos Berlocq
Floaters: Tommy Robredo
Notes: Shite field, but you’ve got Rafa!…Rafa after a bye faces the winner of a qualifier and Argentina’s Guido (no joke) Pella…No. 8 seed Berlocq ranked No. 70…Nadal only seed making tournament debut, and has not played since Wimbledon of last year with a knee injury…Returning champs in the field are Monaco (2012) who beat Berlocq in the final, and Robredo (2011).
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