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Staged at the magnificent ARENA, the Open Sud de France represents one of the most popular stops on the ATP World Tour, as the southern French city attracts the very best players in the world year after year.

Home to the iconic Place de la Comedie, Montpellier has been the fastest growing city in France over the last quarter of a century, and is the third largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille and Nice.

Montpellier first hosted an ATP World Tour tournament in October 2010, replacing the Lyon event, known then as the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon, which had been staged since 1987. The tournament has grown rapidly since then, with the organizers investing many millions in a giant multi-purpose, floral-coloured, glass venue called the ARENA which boasts a total capacity of 14,000 and can seat 7,500 during the tournament. 

The tournament moved into the new site in 2012, along with a new date on the calendar, with the event shifted from its late October date to late January. That has since been slightly adjusted, as the meet now takes place in early February, with the Davis Cup weekend sandwiched between ATP Montpellier and the Australian Open.

February represents a unique month on the ATP World Tour, as it serves as some sort of transition period between the ferocious Australian summer and the equally raucous North American hard-court swing, headlined by Masters 1000 tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami. While some players opt to spend their February in the Latin American “Golden Swing”, many top players opt for the indoor hard courts of Europe; and Montpellier, along with the simultaneously staged ATP Sofia, marks the start of that European swing that also features tournaments in Rotterdam and Marseille in a short three-week spell.

ATP Montpellier may not have the size and profile of its not-too-distant neighboring tournaments at the Australian Open or Indian Wells, but the level of competition remains intense, with 250 ranking points and decent prize money up for grabs.

Naturally, the tournament has been very kind to home players over the years- Yannick Noah won the inaugural edition in 1987 back in Lyon, while the majestic Richard Gasquet, with four titles, is the most successful player in the tournament’s history. Gasquet has particularly loved the switch to Montpellier, with three of his four titles coming post 2010. He has also been runner up on a couple of occasions. Gael Monfils has also enjoyed Montpellier, winning a couple of titles in 2010 and 2014. Also worthy of note is Tomas Berdych’s title-winning run in 2012- the first year the tournament was staged at the ARENA. 

While French players have dominated the Open Sud de France since its switch to Montpellier, foreign champions were quite prominent during the tournament’s Lyon days. The legendary Pete Sampras is the only man to have won three consecutive titles following his successes from 1991 and 1993, while John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Ivan Ljubicic and Robin Soderling are some of the other great champions to have won the title.

ATP tennis is live from Montpellier in February. Watch and bet on ATP Montpellier tennis live at Unibet > sports > live streaming

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