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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No time for romance in the City of Love

 
For most people, weddings take years in the planning, months to recover from and a lifetime to pay for. But Rafa Nadal is not most people and no matter that he only got married last weekend, he has already been to Kazakhstan to play an exhibition match against Novak Djokovic and he has been in Paris since Thursday night to ready himself for a hectic finish to the season. It is not what you would call a regular honeymoon but Rafa doesn’t seem to mind.
 
“We take our time off before the wedding, and now is the moment to be back on the tour,” he said, simply. “I'm happy to be here. As everybody knows, for me it's the most important city in my tennis career, so I love to be in Paris. Always gives me good vibes.”


The hand injury that kept him away from the Asia swing of tournaments and curtailed his Laver Cup activities seems to have settled down and now he is as ready as he will ever be to try and lift his first RPM trophy, go on to London and try to do the same at the ATP Tour Finals and then end the year in Madrid for the all-new Davis Cup finals. And in the middle of all of this, he knows he will be the world No.1 by the time his stay in Paris is over – then he just has to try and hang on to that ranking until the end of the year. No pressure, then, Rafa.
 
“I have been in that position a couple of times in my career,” he said. “As I said during the last couple of years, is not my goal to be No.1. It's about I need to organise my calendar to play as long as possible. If with my calendar at the end of the season I am number one, super happy. But I will not try to follow or to make extra things to be No.1. I just going to do my normal schedule.”
 
Clearly no one has told him that a “normal schedule” for a recently married man would be lying on a sunny beach with his new bride, flipping through wedding photos and sipping a brightly coloured and ludicrously expensive cocktail. Oh well, not even living legends can get everything right…

 


Should I stay or should I go?

 
When Daniil Medvedev left Wimbledon in July, he was the world No.13 and he had just lost in the third round to David Goffin. It had been a good year so far but there were still goals to be reached – a place in the world’s top 10 perhaps?
 
But since he left the grass courts behind, Daniil has been a different player: he has reached six consecutive finals (including the US Open) and he has won three titles. His ranking is now up to No.4, just over 1,000 points behind Roger Federer at No.3 and with, potentially, 2,500 points to play for before the season ends.
 
Such success could go to a chap’s head but it is the other bits of him that are feeling the strain. Unsurprisingly, Daniil is tired and yet he does not want to stop. If he stops, he could break the momentum – what to do?
 
“I was very tired with six finals in a row,” Daniil explained. “I wanted to play Moscow and Vienna. I heard very good things in Vienna. And, of course, Shanghai – I felt I couldn't play at a competitive level anymore, but I had to. I had to play 100 per cent.”
 
(For the record, he did play at 100 per cent in Shanghai – he won the title.)

 

“This is why I need more time to cool off and to make sure that I'm at the level for the last tournaments of the season,” he went on.

 
“It's not that I'm afraid but rather I don't want it to stop,” he said. “I want to work as hard as I can to make sure that this momentum doesn't stop. It has worked well so far, and I hope to continue. But we never know.

“I'll focus on the first round, and then we'll see how it goes for the rest of the tournament.”
 
And while Rafa and Novak go head to head for the end of year No.1 ranking, they had better keep one eye on the young Russian bloke behind them: he has big plans for the immediate future.
 
“I just want to see how far I can go,” Daniil said. “It could be No.1. If it doesn't happen, that means that I wouldn't be strong enough. And I know that here, now, to get to be high up in the race, you have to do a significant effort, but I'm trying to do my best.”

 
And the winners are…

 
After two days of sinew-snapping effort, the six qualifiers have finally got their hands on a ticket to the main draw of the Rolex Paris Masters.

On Sunday, Sam Querrey dealt with a spirited challenge from Rayane Roumane before winning 7-5, 6-1, Cameron Norrie had to fight for all he was worth to get the better of Egor Gerasimov 2-6, 7-5, 7-6, Jeremy Chardy eventually pulled rank over Corentin Moutet 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 and Yoshihito Nishioka outlasted Andreas Seppi 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Casper Ruud beat Hugo Gaston 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Ricardas Berankis defeated Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.

Groupe 1

Groupe 2