ATP Tour Open 13: Players to Watch During Quarterfinal Action in Marseille

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ATP Tour Open 13: Players to Watch During Quarterfinal Action in Marseille
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The action on the indoor hard courts in Marseille, France, is heating up as Friday marks the beginning of quarterfinal play at the 2013 ATP Tour Open, where three of men's tennis' top stars are looking to win their first singles title of the new season.

With the singles draw of 28 players down to the last eight, it's go time for the Tour Open's top three seeds in France.

Here are the players to keep an eye on during Friday's quarters in Marseille.

 

Tomas Berdych

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Czech tennis star Tomas Berdych has been on the outside looking in on the Big Four for years now. But in Marseille, the top-seeded Berdych is expected to win his first singles title of 2013.

But the 27-year-old will have his work cut out for him this weekend. He has never won this tournament or even reached the final. He lost at the quarterfinal stage in Marseille two years ago.

Look for the 6'5" Berdych to seize his moment in France this weekend, though. He only has eight career singles titles, and he won't want to let this opportunity go by the wayside. With his powerful, hard-hitting game, he has real shot to go the distance. 

The hard court suits him well, giving him added zip on his serves and ground strokes. 

 

Juan Martin del Potro

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Last year's ATP Tour Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro has a big game to go along with his massive 6'6" frame. 

Del Potro is the second-seeded player in this year's tournament behind Berdych, but will have every bit as great a shot to win it all. It must be pointed out that Del Potro is the only other men's player outside the Big Four to have won a Grand Slam tournament since the 2005 Australian Open.

With his powerful forehand, Del Potro can dictate points from anywhere on the court. Plus, he's a strong server who can pick up cheap points when he's firing accurate first serves into the box.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

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The top-ranked French men's player on the planet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made quick work of Nikolay Davydenko in the second round, defeating the Russian in straight sets, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.

Tsonga, who won this tournament in 2009 and has finished as a doubles runner-up the past two years, will take on Aussie Bernard Tomic in Friday's quarterfinals. Although Tomic upset eighth-seeded Martin Klizan in the first round and did what many expected him to do against Somdev Devvarman in the second round, the third-seeded Tsonga will be the favorite. 

Tsonga, who went out in the first round at last week's tournament in Rotterdam, but pushed Roger Federer to five sets at last month's Australian Open, is proving he's a worthy top 10 player.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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