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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Allez les Bleus
 
It is France, it is Paris – of course there is going to be French interest in the Rolex Paris Masters. But if the seven Frenchmen already sitting pretty in the main draw thought they would be hogging the limelight this week, they were very much mistaken.
 
Before the usual suspects had laid racket string to ball in earnest, another five of their countrymen were busting a gut trying to claim one of the last six spots in the main draw by coming through the qualifying competition. And by close of play on Saturday, four of them had moved one step closer to their goal.
 
Jeremy Chardy got the ball rolling by knocking out the top seed, Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-4. They had only ever played each on clay before with the Spaniard racking up a 3-1 career record over his rival but indoors, on a hard court, Mr C was not to beaten again.

Unfortunately for the home fans, Chardy now plays another Frenchman in the small but talented form of Corentin Moutet. That ensures that one local hero will definitely qualify but, alas, one will be left behind.


Moutet is, by tennis standards, not overly tall but standing just 175cm, but the little left-hander packs a punch. He started the year ranked No.152 and trying to earn his points at Challenger level. Then, in Lyon in May, he won his first tour level match of the year, coming from two match points down to beat the massive Reilly Opelka, all 211cms of him, and from there was no stopping him. He beat Guido Pella to reach the third round at Roland Garros, he came from two sets down to beat Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon – Moutet was on the up.
 
Against Lorenzo Sonego from Italy, he started slowly but once there first set was out of the way, he raced through to his appointment with Chardy, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
 
It was left to Rayane Roumane, a wild card entry into the qualifiying contest, to cause the biggest upset of the day when he, the world No.411, ousted Miomir Kecmanovic, the world No.54 from Serbia, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. He now plays Sam Querrey after the big American ended the hopes of France’s Elliot Benchetrit 6-4, 6-2. Hugo Gaston rounded off a great day for the French with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Juan Ignacio Londero from Argentina.


 
Egor grabs his chance
 
So there was Egor Gerasimov thinking that his year was coming to a quiet close when suddenly the door to the Rolex Paris Masters opened. Admittedly, it only opened a crack, but this was a chance and Egor was ready and waiting to take it.
 
When Pablo Cuevas was slotted into the main draw at the last minute, a space opened up in the qualifying competition and being the next man down in the rankings, Egor – the world No.104 – was called into action.
 
At 26 (although he looks considerably younger), Egor has been waiting a long time for his luck to change. Three years ago, he needed surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, he did not play at all between August 2017 and March of last year and he seemed doomed to be one of those hard-working types who never gets his just rewards. Until this year, that is.
 
In the past few months, Egor has finally been getting the results he has waited for. He reached the semi-finals in St. Petersburg, beating Matteo Berrettini, and then pushed Daniil Medvedev hard when he got there. He beat John Isner in Chengdu and after 13 previous failed attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam, he made the cut to get into the US Open back in August. Now he must find a way to get past Cameron Norrie, the world No.58 from Scotland (by way of New Zealand) if he is to claim his place in the main draw.


 
Marriage works
 
It was Andy Murray who scribbled that little message on the camera lens when he won his first Masters 1000 clay court title in Madrid just a few weeks after tying the knot with his long-time girlfriend, Kim. Renewed, refreshed and a different man, he was on top of the world.
 
Now Rafa Nadal, renewed, refreshed and a different man since he married his long-time partner Maria Francisca Perello a week ago, is in Paris to try and see if marriage really does work and if it can win him his first Rolex Paris Masters title.
 


He practiced with Novak Djokovic on Saturday, and the Serb knows a thing or two about winning at the AccorHotels Arena – he has won here four times in the past. Oh, to have been a fly on the umpire’s chair as those two chatted about life, work and marriage.
 
It seems strange that Rafa has never won indoors in Paris – as the history books record, he has won 12 times outdoors in the capital – but this is a time of year when he has so often been struggling with injuries. This year, though, is different and with the world No.1 ranking up for grabs, the new husband is looking forward to a long, profitable week ahead of him.

Groupe 1

Groupe 2