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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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Struff catches Khachanov

 

Last year Karen Khachanov did the unthinkable and beat Novak Djokovic in the final to lift the RPM trophy. The win changed his life, he said. Now he was one of the big boys: a Masters 1000 champion and with a win that left him knocking on the door of the world’s top 10. When he marched into Bercy this year, he was the world No.8 and a man to be feared. And then Jan-Lennard Struff sent him packing 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 in the second round. Oh, how are the mighty fallen.

 

 

At the age of 29, Struff is experienced and this year has been one of his best (he reached a career high ranking of No.33 in July and is now No.36) but he is still a stalwart of the second tier of players, those who sit below the top 10 and wait for a chance to pick off a big name. Yet when his moment came on Tuesday, it was Struff who was the stronger and the braver – he pounced on his first match point and put it away with a smash winner. From the baseline, to boot.

 

The warning signs had been there all along for Khachanov: Struff manufactured a set point in the first set tiebreak and converted it with an ace. He may have been playing catch up in the second set – and never did catch up – but he skipped to an early lead in third. Even when Khachanov broke back, Struff was still serving first and ahead on the scoreboard so when that match point presented itself, he grabbed it with both hands.

 

His loss leaves Khachanov down at No.17 in the rankings and Struff’s win leaves him facing either Matteo Berrettini or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.

 

Simon hobbles out

 

Gilles Simon’s stay at the RPM only lasted 24 minutes as he was forced to pull out of his match with Denis Shapovalov at 2-2 in the first set. Twice in quick succession, he felt a sharp pain in his left thigh and he knew that to go on any longer could risk serious injury.

 

 

“I've never had this pain till now,” the Frenchman said. “So when you feel two strains in a row like this, you have to decide quickly whether you will endure such a pain for a longer period of time or stop altogether. “I felt bad twice in a row. Because he was back on my forehand, and I felt, Oh, my God, it's not going well at all. I'm not going well at all. That's it.”

 

Shapovalov, then, eased into the second round and a less-than-easy encounter with Fabio Fognini.

 

The Italian is another one of the handful of players who could qualify for the ATP Finals – but he would need to win the title to do it. Incredibly gifted yet incredibly unpredictable (in the nicest possible way, obviously), Fognini has won a Masters 1000 title this year in Monte Carlo. Shapovalov, by contrast, has never won a match in Bercy.

 

Then again, the Canadian lefty with a gift for the flamboyant, knows how light up a court. Sit back and watch the drama unfold.

 

 

Nobody beats Kyle Edmund eight times on the bounce…

 

…and certainly not Ricardas Berankis. Britain’s former No.1 notched up his first win since August, snapping a seven-match losing streak, when he cruised into the second round beating the Lithuanian 6-4, 6-3. It may not have made front or back page news around the world, but Kyle’s win caused a huge sigh of relief back in Britain. The former Australian Open semi-finalist has had a miserable time of it of late and the longer his run of poor results continued, the more shackled by that position of Britain’s top player he seemed to be. But the losing run is over now; now he has a win to his name. Then again, now he has to face Diego Schwartzman, the world No.15 (Kyle is No.75) and the human dynamo. Onwards and upwards, Kyle; onwards and upwards.

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