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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Your daily guide to everything that’s happening at the Rolex Paris Masters

 

Roger still pondering number 100 in Paris!

Roger Federer, fresh from winning his 99th career title in Basel on Sunday, is yet to make up his mind about whether to play at the Rolex Paris Masters after his heroics in his home town but the great man is certainly not yet ruling out the prospect of shooting for his historic century of tournament triumphs here.

Speaking to Swiss television after wrapping up his ninth Basel crown on Sunday, the 37-year-old said he would have a break today before travelling to Paris on Tuesday. “I hope to play Wednesday evening. That's the plan. Let's see if it happens,” he shrugged.

Federer believes that it “would make sense” to get more match practice under his belt before the ATP finals instead of simply training. “Therefore we’re considering to play in Paris.” 

So keep crossing those fingers….the would-be centurion could be on his way!

 

Big Kevin in great spirits

No player will be in better heart, going into this edition of the Rolex Paris Masters, than big Kevin Anderson, who’s just finished off a stellar week at the Vienna Open with the victory that books his place in the Nitto ATP finals in London next month.

So for the big South African, the pressure has been released somewhat and he can watch some of his rivals sweating this week in the battle to earn the last two places on offer - and possibly three if Juan Martin Del Potro can’t make it because of injury - for London’s end-of-season tennis festival.

Four players, all in action here at the AccorHotels Arena, still look to have a realistic shot at making London, led by Marin Cilic, who’s currently seventh in the race,  Dominic Thiem (8th), Kei Nishikori (9th) and John Isner (10th).

 

Generation game number one….

Feliciano Lopez had already been plying his trade as a professional tennis player for more than a year when Alex de Minaur was born in Australia in 1999. 

Improbably, 19 years on, the 37-year-old Spaniard is still going strong as he today finds himself having to cope with the fresh-faced  teenager who is one of the brightest young talents in the game.

This battle of the generations on Court 1 this afternoon looks a fascinating one but after a tough weekend’s work which saw Lopez take out one of De Minaur’s compatriots Matt Ebden, the veteran from Toledo certainly looks in confident mood, reminding himself that playing can be more fun than his other job of being a tournament director in Madrid.

But he’ll need to be at his best to handle the youngster, who tamed Lopez’s left-handed serve with penetrating returns and ended up running him ragged at the Sydney International tournament in De Minaur’s home town in January. 

 

 

Generation game number two….

The final showstopper of the day on the Court Central is reserved for 36-year-old Nicolas Mahut, the Parisian local hero who has already written probably the best plot line of the tournament already by coming from a set down in two matches over the weekend to oust Americans who are both ranked more than 100 places higher than him.

Now it’s his chance to take U.S. scalp number three when he faces Frances Tiafoe, the 20-year-old son of Sierra Leonean immigrants who’s another of the exciting, rising starlets of the game. Again, he’s ranked far ahead of the home player but the Florida-based youngster is on such a recent miserable run of three opening round defeats in Shanghai, Antwerp and Vienna that he looks like an inviting target for ‘Nico’, who has hardly been able to wipe the smile off his face all weekend in Bercy.

The only time they played three years ago, Mahut gave the then 17-year-old a bit of a lesson in Cincinnati but he won’t be able to school him like that any more. Tiafoe is ready to be Paris’s party pooper.

 

Generation game number three….

What a delight to recognise that the rapier one-handed backhand, that most rare and aesthetically pleasing of tennis sights, can still be found flourishing in the armoury of a few swashbuckling protectors, both old and new.

So it really should be a treat to witness what promises to be the match of the day this evening on Central as 32-year-old Richard Gasquet matches his signature free-flowing rapier stroke against that of 19-year-old leftie Denis Shapovalov, the Canadian free spirit who like his French opponent knows what it’s like to be hailed as a bit of a teenage phenomenon.

 

 

Who wants to face the mighty Djoko? 

Whoever prevails in today’s first round clash featuring Italian Marco Cecchinato and Portuguese Joao Sousa on Court 1 is going to be handed the particularly forbidding reward of a date with Novak Djokovic. Forbidding, because, lately, trying to halt a master who’s on a roll of 26 straight winning sets has just felt like sport’s ultimate exercise in futility.

Not that Cecchinato will feel that way, though. The Sicilian is aching for another crack at the man he defeated with his fearless brand of attack in Paris in the Spring, causing the biggest upset of the season with his quarter-final triumph over Djokovic at Roland-Garros.

Maybe it was that victory that really kick-started Djokovic’s return to his glorious best. Wounded, a little humiliated and a bit lost, he traipsed off hiking into the mountains and rediscovered both himself and his love of the sport. 

He has been a different man since, as Cecchinato discovered painfully recently in Shanghai when Djokovic’s brutal revenge was to crush him 6-4 6-0. 

Groupe 1

Groupe 2