© JB Autissier/Panoramic

Andy Murray practises ahead of his debut at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

Murray Handed Tough Start To Montpellier Debut

Bautista Agut, Goffin occupy top seeding positions at ATP 250

In his first ATP Tour event in four months, Andy Murray has landed in a packed section of the Open Sud de France draw in Montpellier.

Making his first tour-level appearance since last October’s bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne, the former World No. 1 will open his campaign against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov. Murray will aim to build on a strong start to his 2021 season in Montpellier, following his run to the Biella Challenger Indoor 1 final last week (l. to Marchenko).

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The British wild card will compete in the third quarter of the ATP 250 draw, which features the only two players competing in Montpellier to have already lifted an ATP Tour title this year. Murray could meet Great Ocean Road Open champion Jannik Sinner in the second round, with Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com champion Hubert Hurkacz a potential quarter-final opponent.

Sinner, who fell in five sets to Denis Shapovalov in the Australian Open first round, is competing indoors for the first time since his maiden ATP Tour title run at the Sofia Open last November. The #NextGenATP Italian will meet Aljaz Bedene in his first match.

In the final quarter of the draw, second seed and two-time Montpellier semi-finalist David Goffin could face 2018 champion Lucas Pouille in his first match. Pouille will face countryman Benjamin Bonzi in the first round. Pouille is not the only past champion in this section. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2019 titlist, will meet #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda in one of the picks of the first-round matches.

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In the top half of the draw, Roberto Bautista Agut and Dusan Lajovic lead the way. In his first Montpellier appearance since his tournament debut in 2012, Bautista Agut will open his title bid against Nikoloz Basilashvili or a qualifier. The Spaniard is joined in the top quarter of the draw by sixth seed Ugo Humbert, who captured two ATP Tour titles on hard courts in 2020.

Third seed Lajovic will meet Dennis Novak or home favourite Gilles Simon in his opening match. The Serbian shares the second quarter with eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff, who will begin his third appearance in Montpellier against a qualifier.

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