After consecutive weeks of ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, the ATP Tour heads to Geneva and Lyon for ATP 250 events on clay.
Roger Federer will lead the way at the Gonet Geneva Open in his home country of Switzerland, and Dominic Thiem headlines the field at the Open Parc d’Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes-Lyon. ATPTour.com looks at five things you should watch at each event.
View Draws: Geneva | Lyon
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GENEVA
1) Roger’s Debut: Federer will play an ATP Tour event in Geneva for the first time, and he brings a 32-match winning streak on home soil into this tournament. The home favourite has competed in tour-level matches in Geneva before, going 9-0 in Davis Cup and 2-0 in Laver Cup here. The 39-year-old is pursuing his first title since triumphing in Basel in 2019, and a victory this week would give him 104 tour-level trophies (just five behind Open Era record-holder Jimmy Connors, who won 109). The Swiss superstar will begin his run against Spaniard Pablo Andujar or Aussie Jordan Thompson.
Federer is one of two Swiss in the main draw, joined by 2020 Roland Garros boys’ singles champion Dominic Stephan Stricker. The 18-year-old has practised with Federer, and he will make his tour-level debut against former World No. 3 Marin Cilic.
2) Shapo Surging: Second seed Denis Shapovalov will hope for a big week after falling in the third round in Rome against Rafael Nadal, where he pushed the legendary lefty to the brink at the Foro Italico. Nadal needed a final-set tie-break to dispatch the Canadian. Shapovalov, who is also making his Geneva debut, will open against Italian Stefano Travaglia or a qualifier.
3) Ruud On A Roll: One of the toughest clay-court players on the entire ATP Tour in recent months has been Norwegian Casper Ruud. The 22-year-old has made the semi-finals in his past three tournaments, two of which were ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo and Madrid. The third seed this week in Geneva, Ruud will attempt to lift his second tour-level trophy after triumphing in Buenos Aires last year. The Norwegian will play two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren or Italian Salvatore Caruso in the second round.
4) Garin & Grigor: Two players to watch for are fifth seed Cristian Garin and fourth-seeded wild card Grigor Dimitrov. Garin is the other seeded player in Federer’s quarter of the draw. The Chilean has won five ATP Tour titles, all of which have come on clay. Dimitrov, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion, has proven a dangerous foe when he is on his game. The Bulgarian will chase his first crown since triumphing at The O2 four years ago.
5) Marach & Pavic Top Seeds: Mate Pavic has dominated the doubles circuit this year alongside Nikola Mektic. The Croatians have won six titles in 2021, including three at Masters 1000 events. But for this week, Pavic will reunite with Oliver Marach. The pair claimed six trophies together, including a victory at the 2018 Australian Open. They are the top seeds in Geneva.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN LYON
1) Thiem Time: The top seed in Lyon is Thiem, the 2018 champion. Three years ago, the Austrian won three consecutive three-setters to lift the trophy here. Thiem will try to continue regaining rhythm in his third tournament since Dubai after making the semi-finals in Madrid and the third round in Rome. He will begin his run at this French ATP 250 against a lefty: home favourite Corentin Moutet or Briton Cameron Norrie.
2) Tsitsipas Shining: Stefanos Tsitsipas has enjoyed a tremendous start to 2021, tied with Andrey Rublev for the most wins this season (29). The Greek star will try to quickly bounce back from the disappointment of losing an epic quarter-final against Novak Djokovic in Rome and get back on track in Lyon, where he is the second seed. Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo and he will try to add his second crown of the season this week. Making his tournament debut, the 22-year-old will first face former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or American Tommy Paul.
3) Monfils On The Move: Fifth seed Gael Monfils has lifted four of his 10 ATP Tour trophies on home soil (three in Montpellier), and he will try to add a fifth this week in Lyon. The home favourite made his debut at this tournament in 2018, losing in the first round. Monfils played just his second tournament of the season last week in Rome, where he battled hard in a tight three-set loss against eventual semi-finalist Lorenzo Sonego. The 34-year-old will attempt to earn his first victory of the season when he opens his Lyon campaign against South African Lloyd Harris.
4) #NextGenATP Stars In Action: Some of the ATP Tour’s biggest #NextGenATP stars will compete at the Open Parc d’Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes-Lyon. Sixth seed Jannik Sinner leads the way, and he will face a stiff challenge against 2021 breakthrough star Aslan Karatsev in the first round. Seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime will play 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti in the first round. Sebastian Korda, the 20-year-old who made the Miami quarter-finals, will face the winner if he gets by home favourite Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
5) Herbert/Mahut Try To Win At Home: Frenchmen Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are the top seeds in the Lyon doubles draw. The last time the pair triumphed on home soil together was at the Rolex Paris Masters in 2019. Another team to watch is Petros Tsitsipas and older brother Stefanos Tsitsipas, who received a wild card