While the Montpellier tournament is scheduled during the Davis Cup in 2024, the organizers of the Open Sud de France are not worried.
In 13 editions, the South of France Open ended up making a place for itself in a ATP schedule increasingly dense, with almost 70 tournaments. As proved by the 2023 vintage, during which an Italian player clinic, Jannik Sinner, was titledor that a nugget, Holger Rune, was present at the Sud de France Arena. One more.
And for 2024 then? Discovering next season’s calendar unveiled by the ATP, one could fear a discounted edition since the Montpellier tournament is scheduled in conjunction with a Davis Cup tour.
Not enough to panic the organizers of this ATP 250 with a prize pool of €562,815. “We are betting on staying at that time of year, boasts Samir Boudjemaamanaging director of TV Sport Events, the organizer of the tournament. This is going to be a special year because of the Olympic Games in Paris, which take weeks off the ATP calendar.”
But why tempt the devil to keep this place when a competition like the Davis Cup is in direct competition? “The idea is to stay at this fifth week of the year because we will be the only ATP tournament that week. Whereas usually, there is the tournament in Dallas or in South America, so we will be the only ones to offer money and points for the players. And on top of that, it will give us more media exposure.”replies Boudjemaa.
The vagueness around the Davis Cup
The Montpellier organizers could even pull off the perfect shot due to the uncertainty surrounding the Davis Cup and even the International Tennis Federation (ITF). With the unexpected withdrawal of Kosmos, the company of former Spanish footballer Gerard Pique, which has managed the feat of making a competition more than a century old obsolete, the ITF has effectively regained control for 2023.
The latter decided on a format in three phases: a qualifying round at the start of the year – at the same time as the Montpellier tournament in 2024 therefore –, a group stage in September, then a final phase in November.
All without defining the format of 2024 while the elections for the head of the ITF will take place next September and could completely reshuffle the cards. If not, then again, Open organizers aren’t worried.
“This year the Davis Cup was for 22 players from the top 100 and there will be at least four teams that will be exempted from this first round.continues Boudjemaa. And as these invitations are given to big teams in general… This will allow us to have good players who will only have Montpellier to play a tournament a week after the Australian Open.”