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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Filip Krajinovic’s run from the qualifiers through to the final of last year’s Rolex Paris Masters felt like a fairytale to him.

The injury-beleaguered Serb journeyman who had been ranked 294 in the world just a few months before the tournament enjoyed the week of his life as he became the lowest-ranked finalist, at No.77, to make a Masters 1000 final in 14 years.

Alas, his return to the AccorHotels Arena on Monday brought Krajinovic down to earth with a rude bump as he opened proceedings with what turned out to be a most dispiriting first-round defeat to Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-5 6-2.

To start with, the Serb’s return to the court where he lost the final to Jack Sock last year seemed to be going smoothly as he looked in control in the opening set and held set point when serving at 5-4.

Then the match turned in the space of a couple of dramatic minutes. Khachanov saved the set point and then earned a break point of his own, only for Krajinovic to be foot faulted on his second serve to surrender the game.

The ruling seemed to completely destabilise the incredulous Serb, who queried the call with the umpire and then appeared quite distracted as he lost the next game too before stomping back to his chair while booting a couple of his water bottles out of the way, a show of petulance that earned him a code violation.

 

Still out of sorts, Krajinovic was then broken again as the world No. 18 Khachanov took the set and he appeared never to quite recover his mental poise as the dangerous Russian who’s already won two indoor hard court titles this year then dominated proceedings to set up a powerhouse battle with Briton Kyle Edmund in the second round. 

 

Look out, Novak, here comes Joao…

 

It might look like mission impossible but Joao Sousa won’t worry about being charged with the nightmarish task of ending Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten streak after beating Italian Marco Cecchinato in straight sets on Court 1.

Much had been made about the prospect of a Paris rematch between Cecchinato and Djokovic following their fateful quarter-final at Roland-Garros in June when the Italian sent ‘Nole’ spinning to a sensational defeat in four sets.

Yet Sousa spoiled that particular script with a 7-5 6-3 victory that sets himself up with a second round tie on Court Central on Tuesday against the world No.2, who’s previously beaten him on five occasions without dropping a set.

Still, Sousa, the world No.48 from Guimaraes who’s enjoyed a huge breakthrough season with his first title in Estoril and a fourth round appearance at the US Open - the best-ever Grand Slam performance by a Portuguese - will keep believing after this fine opening win.

Cecchinato had his chance with a set point in the opening stanza but after the disappointment of missing his opportunity, Sousa immediately earned the key break, from which point he was firmly in control as he ran out a comfortable victor in just over an hour and a quarter.      

 

 

Mannarino demonstrates good skills - and skulls!

 

Adrian Mannarino was the first home player to book his place in the second round with a straightforward triumph over his young French compatriot Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-2.

Yet though the 30-year-old southpaw’s game looked in good shape, Mannarino was not about to suggest that he should be in the frame for a place in the Davis Cup final team.

There's a lot of good players in France. And honestly, I'm not asking myself any questions. I'm far from being the favourite because the final is on clay,” reckoned Mannarino. Yet if he does make it int the team, he smiled, he would definitely be wearing the familiar skull logo of his clothes sponsors. “Is it meant to frighten the Croatians?” he was asked. “Certainly!” beamed Adrian.

 

 

 

Federer’s conquerer is kayoed by injury

 

John Millman made headlines around the world when he defeated Roger Federer at the US Open in such suffocating heat that the Swiss maestro was glad just to get off the court in the end.

Yet the Australian has had a pretty lean time since reaching the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows and after some recent struggles with injury, he was forced to withdraw on Monday after losing the first set 6-4 to the in-form Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Millman injured himself when serving but despite taking painkillers, was in too much discomfort to continue, thus effectively bringing a flat conclusion to his breakthrough year.

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Groupe 2