A pair of clay-court events just 112 kilometres apart host the action this week on the ATP Tour, with Geneva and Lyon the venues for a doubleheader in Western Europe.
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev plays his first tournament since March at the Gonet Geneva Open, with Casper Ruud and Dominic Thiem also competing in a strong field in Switzerland. Cameron Norrie is the top seed at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon, where Gael Monfils leads an exciting group of French players seeking home success.
ATPTour.com looks ahead at five things to watch at each event.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GENEVA
1) Medvedev Returns: World No. 2 Medvedev returns to competitive action for the first time since March after a layoff due to a hernia procedure. The top seed makes his debut in Geneva as he chases a first title of the year at the ATP 250 event, where he opens against Richard Gasquet or John Millman. Medvedev is a 13-time tour-level titlist, but arrives in Switzerland still hunting a maiden crown on clay.
2) Ruud Defends Title: Casper Ruud’s European clay-court season sparked into life with a semi-final run in Rome this week, a strong response from the Norwegian after he won just four matches across his four previous tournaments. Despite his patchy form, the World No. 10’s pedigree on clay is not in doubt — he is chasing a seventh tour-level title on the surface in Geneva, where he is the defending champion.
3) Thiem Chases Winning Feeling: Former World No. 3 Thiem may be 0-4 since making his comeback on Tour in April from a wrist injury, but the Austrian has shown signs of improvement in every match he has played. Despite defeat in a tough opener against Fabio Fognini in Rome last week, Thiem will feel capable of a deep run on debut in Geneva as he tries to recapture the level that has earned him 10 tour-level titles on clay and two championship match appearances at Roland Garros.
4) Shapovalov, Opelka Challenge: Third seed Denis Shapovalov was back to his exciting best during a quarter-final run in Rome, the highlight of which was a third-round victory over Rafael Nadal. The Canadian will hope to build on that performance as he hunts a second ATP Tour title. He came close to that goal in Geneva last year, reaching the final on tournament debut before falling to Ruud.
Reilly Opelka enjoyed a less-successful first appearance in Geneva in 2021, losing his first-round match to Pablo Cuevas, but the fourth-seeded American arrives in Switzerland this year a tour-level clay-court titlist after lifting the trophy in Houston in April. Opelka is 0-3 on the European clay since then, but the American’s huge serve remains the perfect weapon to power him back to form, no matter the surface.
5) Mektic/Pavic Lead Doubles Field: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic are the top-seeds in the doubles draw, with the Croatian pairing making their debut at the Tennis Club de Geneve. A strong field also includes Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, the British-Brazilian second seeds hunting a first clay-court title together, while third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer are chasing a third tour-level crown of the year.
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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN LYON
1) Norrie Top Seed: World No. 11 Norrie has a strong record in Lyon. The Briton made the semi-finals on debut in 2018 and went one better last year, reaching the championship match at the ATP 250 event before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Norrie’s solid early-season form propelled him into the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time on 4 April. Can he bounce back from a second-round defeat to Marin Cilic in Rome with a maiden clay-court title this week?
2) Carreno Busta Threat: One of the most consistent performers on Tour, World No. 18 Pablo Carreno Busta is seeded second as he prepares for his Lyon debut. The Spaniard will bid to put disappointing early exits at the Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome behind him with a deep run in Lyon as he chases a first title since securing his maiden ATP 500 crown at the Hamburg European Open last July.
3) Monfils Leads Home Hopes: Gael Monfils was resurgent in the early stages of 2022, picking up an 11th tour-level title in Adelaide in January before reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Lyon will be just the second event of the 35-year-old’s European clay season, however, and he has won only one match in two prior appearances at the ATP 250 event.
Monfils is an all-court player capable of strong performances on clay, but the 11-time titlist has won only one title on the red dirt, back in 2005. Can home support spur the third seed on to another this week?
4) Tsonga’s Farewell Tour: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga prepares for the penultimate tournament of his career at an event where he was the inaugural winner in 2017. The 18-time tour-level titlist will retire after Roland Garros. The 37-year-old faces Marrakech finalist Alex Molcan in the opening round in Lyon, with Tsonga chasing a first win on Tour since Marseille in March.
Ugo Humbert, Benjamin Bonzi, Arthur Rinderknech, Lucas Pouille, Arthur Rinderknech and Adrian Mannarino will also look to channel home support as they bid to emulate countrymen Tsonga and 2019 champion Benoit Paire in lifting the Lyon trophy.
5) Rune Flying High: The exciting #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune returns to competitive action for the first time since clinching his maiden ATP Tour title in Munich two weeks ago. Rune’s exploits in Germany saw him jump into the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time but the 19-year-old faces a tough opening opponent in Rinderknech, who won the pair’s only previous meeting in Kitzbuhel last year.