Gael Monfils looks to defend title and win his fifth ATP World title

Frenchmen Gael Monfils will be the crowd favorite this week here in Montpellier, France first of all because he is playing at home and second of all because he is the defending champion. Well it kind of feels strange to say he is the defending champion due to the fact that he won the event in 2010 and last year it was not played, so how about saying he was the last champion of this event.

This event was first played in 1987 when French legend Yannick Noah lifted the title after beating Joakim Nystrom in two sets, Noah for those of you who don`t put too much attention to the past won a French Open and won a total of twenty-three titles he is also the father of Joakim Noah who plays for the Chicago Bulls. Seems to me that this family has lots of talent flowing through their veins, because Yannick`s dad played professional soccer and won the French Cup with Sedan-Torcy.

This tournament is part of the ATP World Tour 250 Series and is played on hard courts indoors which will be a nice change for the players considering that they are coming from Australia where they played outside in the extreme heart. The tournament was played at the Palais des Sports de Gerland in Lyon since 1987 up to 2009 and in 2010 they moved to the Arena Montpellier where they are also playing this week. The event is made up of twenty-eight single players and sixteen doubles teams and the prize money is 575,250 Euros which of course is a big drop of from last week, but the field is also smaller and weaker.

Some of the players that are favorites to take the title will be Tomas Berdych who comes into the event ranked seventh in the world he will be joined by Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils the last champion and Florian Mayer. One of the players that I expect to do well this week will be Richard Gasquet who is also a Frenchmen and will have the crowd behind him and he is currently ranked eighteenth in the World. I for one would not expect to see too many upsets pretty much expect the top players in the first few rounds to win without too much problems.