SOIREE
du Tuesday 29 Octobre 2019 at 19h00 au Tuesday 29 Octobre 2019 at 20h30
ROLEX PARIS MASTERS From October 31th to November 8th, 2020
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Wednesday at the Rolex Paris Masters sees big names such as Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille getting their campaigns under way. Here is a run-down of the main matches of the day.

Lucas Pouille .v. Feliciano Lopez: France .v. Spain once again
After three trans-Pyrenean derbies on Tuesday, Wednesday brings us another, and this one promises to be an absolute cracker for the fans at the AccorHotels Arena. World No.18 Lucas Pouille will get his tournament under way against Feliciano Lopez (No.33), after the lefty from Toledo saw off Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round. Pouille won the title in Vienna last Sunday, and assures us that he is not feeling any fatigue or pain from his troublesome knee, or indeed any pressure to secure the position of French No.1 or book his ticket to London for the ATP World Round Finals. "At the moment I’m not even thinking about all that," said the 23-year-old from the north of France, "and I certainly won’t be thinking about it as I go out on court. I’m just going to take it one match at a time. The opening round is always difficult, and it doesn’t get any easier after that." Pouille starts as favourite, leading the head-to-head 2-1.

Rafael Nadal .v. Hyeon Chung: Guaranteeing the year-end No.1 slot
Rafael Nadal’s first appearance at the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters will be a double event. Firstly, any time that Rafa is on a tennis court is a red-letter day – particularly in "the most important city for (his) career". And secondly, should he win his second-round match on Wednesday (having been given a bye in the first round along with the 13 other top seeds), the 10-time Roland-Garros winner will be guaranteed to finish the year as world No.1, as he did in 2008, 2010 and 2013. "If that happens, it will be important for me," said the Matador from Manacor, "but the season is not over yet so this is not the time to be thinking about it." Nadal outranks his Korean opponent both in the standings (Hyeon Chung is No.55 in the world) and in terms of experience, and took their only previous meeting, last spring in Barcelona. And a win would see him a step nearer to finally bagging one of the rare ATP Masters 1000 titles that have eluded him to date.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga .v. Julien Benneteau: the local derby
Two French team-mates will square off in an all-French second-round match-up at the RPM. Julien Benneteau announced before the tournament that this would be his last appearance at ATP Masters 1000 level in Paris, and the draw has thrown up a tie against his Davis Cup team partner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday. Tsonga is up to No.15 in the world having won the tournament in Antwerp towards the end of October, defeating Bennet’ in the quarter-finals. Not that this will be a walk in the park for the man from Le Mans – the two have met on 10 occasions in the past, and Tsonga only leads the head-to-head 6-4. "I am a little bit tired, but I’m feeling good overall," said Jo ahead of the tournament. "I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to it. The desire to play often trumps everything else, and I’m hoping that that will help me have a good week."

Grigor Dimitrov .v. Richard Gasquet: battle of the backhands
For those who like to see a clash of the one-handed backhands, then centre court at the AccorHotels Arena is the place to be as Grigor Dimitrov and Richard Gasquet showcase their skills. The Frenchman defeated his former hitting partner Benoît Paire in the first round, and is looking forward to a "big match against one of the very best players in the world, particularly on this surface". Gasquet is right to be wary of taking on the Bulgarian on indoor hard courts, with one of the three titles Dimitrov has won this season coming in those same conditions in Sofia, not to mention his recent final in Stockholm (where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro). Grigor came out on top the last two times that the players met, but Richie won the five matches prior to that to give him a healthy head-to-head lead.

David Goffin .v. Adrian Mannarino: dress rehearsal?
This second-round match has Davis Cup final written all over it. Adrian Mannarino, who was part of the French semi-final squad which defeated Serbia in Lille, faces David Goffin, the figurehead of the Belgium team they will take on in the final in a few short weeks. This Wednesday night clash (not before 8.30 pm) has a foretaste of what is to come at the end of November, but it will also give Mannarino a chance for some revenge after he lost to the Belgian in the final in Tokyo. "This is quite a match with the Davis Cup looming so large," said Mannarino, "but I’m not thinking about it at all at the moment. All that’s in my mind is how difficult this match is going to be. I played him three weeks ago and it didn’t go well for me. It’s going to be a tough one – he’s playing really well. I would have preferred to play someone else, but I’ve drawn him. I’ll have to be at my best. Whatever happens, it’ll be difficult , but it’ll be a match full of rallies, open play, and it’ll be fun."

Juan Martin del Potro .v. Joao Sousa: two men on form
Having hot-footed it north to Paris straight from the final in Basle, Juan Martin del Potro is certainly riding the crest the wave that he hopped on at the US Open. The Argentinean reached the semi-final at Flushing Meadows and then continued his rich vein of form, with another semi-final (in Shanghai), a title in Stockholm (where he defeated Grigor Dimitrov) and the final in Switzerland. Suffice to say that he is brimming with confidence here at the last ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season. Confidence is also something that Joao Sousa has been acquiring over recent weeks. The world No.58 made the quarter-final in Antwerp before coming here and winning his two qualifiers for the Rolex Paris Masters. And once in the main draw, he saw off Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi in the first round. Sousa and Del Potro have met twice in the past, including just last week at the Swiss Indoors, with the Argentinean coming out on top on both occasions.

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