Richard Gasquet

Bothered by a back injury before the French Open, Richard Gasquet has had a disappointing season so far: he reached only one final (Eastbourne, loss to Feliciano Lopez) and is now out of the top 20.
With a good performance in Paris he could secure a spot in the French Davis Cup team that will face Switzerland in less than a month.

Gasquet didn’t panic after the loss of the first set 6-7, and played much more relaxed in the second set, with some beautiful backhands down the line, to level the match at one set all. At 3-0 in the third, Istomin injured his knee after a long and spectacular rally, and managed to played only one more game. 6-7 6-2 4-0 victory for Gasquet who next plays 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet

Denis Istomin

Gasquet interview after his win:

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Philipp Kohlschreiber

A really bad day at the office for Edouard Roger-Vasselin, dismantled 3-6 1-6 by Philipp Kohlschreiber in just over an hour.
The Frenchman will take part to the ATP doubles finals in London with Julien Benneteau and has a tiny little chance to be selected as a member of the French Davis Cup team that will face Swizerland from 21 to 23 November in Lille.

Edouard Roger-Vasselin

Edouard Roger-Vasselin

Bercy Arena

Home of the Paris Bercy Masters since 1986, the POPB (Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy) can be can be easily recognized by its pyramidal shape and its walls covered with sloping lawn.

Opened in 1984, it was conceived as a modifiable sports arena capable of accomodating between 3500 and 17000 spectators for over 24 sports from basketball to boxing to tennis. The POPB also hosts some cultural events like concerts and musicals.

That’s what the POPB looked like last year:

POPB

POPB

POPB

And that’s what it looked like today, a vast construction site surrounded by palisades:

POPB

Nice to see you again, Marat!

POPB

POPB

The POPB is indeed undergoing a major modernisation project, with a budget of over 110 million euros. The plan is to make the new POPB (called Bercy Arena) a world class venue with increased seating capacity, VIP areas, box seats as well as new bars and restaurants.

POPB

POPB

The skatepark and the POPB in the background:

POPB

POPB

I’m pretty sure the player exiting the stadium was Milos Raonic, what do you think?

POPB

Some renderings of the future Bercy Arena:

POPB

Bercy Arena

Bercy Arena

The building will keep its pyramidal form and its outside grass areas, but the stairs will be removed to create a main entrance covering nearly 2,500 m² on street level, and which will house bars, restaurants and partner areas open seven days a week.
The sloped esplanade will be connected to the Parc de Bercy via a walkway which will join the Bercy Arena to the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand.

Stay tuned for more Bercy 2014 coverage on Tennis Buzz!

Photo credit: Tennis Buzz, except for 3 renderings (source: Skyscrapercity)

For the first time in years, all the big stars (minus Murray who had back surgery) played the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Nadal and Djokovic were fighting for the number 1 ranking whereas Federer, Wawrinka, Tsonga and co were all fighting for a qualification to the ATP Finals in London.
For the first time in the tournament history, the eight quarter-finalists were qualified for the ATP Finals in London. Djokovic defeated the defending champion David Ferrer in the final, and clinched his 40th career title.

As you already know I spent a few days in Paris to attend the BNP Paribas Masters. Nadal, Djokovic, Federer… I’ve had the chance to watch the best battle for the number 1 spot or for a qualification to the ATP Finals in London. Here’s a quick recap of my week.

Day 0 (Sunday, October 27 )

Paris. Last time I was in Paris was in May for the French Open, but the weather is the same: it rains. No tennis for me today but a walk on the Seine waterfront. You can read here about all my wanderings in Paris during the week.

Today is the last day of the qualifiers. Matches are played on courts 1 and 2 (300 spectators each), the reduced capacity of these courts means that spectators are close to the players. Santiago Giraldo, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Michal Przysiesny, Bernard Tomic, Igor Sijsling and Robin Haase qualify for the main draw.

Day 1 (Monday, October 28 )

Feliciano Lopez

No schedule nonsense like last year, and some interesting matches on Centre Court for the day session:
– Lukas Rosol defeats Jérémy Chardy 6-3 6-4
Feliciano Lopez – Bernard Tomic: an hard-fought victory for Feliciano.
Fernando Verdasco – Ernests Gulbis: another Spaniard against another headcase.

The day session ends quite early and we are allowed to watch Federer practising. He seems really relaxed and jokes with Michael Llodra. On the other half of the court Nishikori warms up seriously with a sparring partner.
Kei Nishikori – Julien Benneteau: a solid performance by the Japanese player.
– in the other match of the night session, qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert beats Benoit Paire 6-2 6-2. Booed by the crowd for his lackadaisical play, Paire calls the spectators morons. Yep, a really nice guy that Paire.

On court 1, Marin Cilic -who comes back after a four month doping-ban- defeats Igor Sisjling in 3 sets. Other results:
Santiago Giraldo def. Adrian Mannarino 6-3 2-6 6-4
Robin Haase def. Denis Istomin 7-6 6-3
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Andreas Seppi 6-3 3-6 6-4

Day 2 (Tuesday, October 29 )

Kei Nishikori and Jo Tsonga

A beautiful day today in Paris. Before tennis, a visit to the Musée des Arts Forains and a walk in the Parc de Bercy.

– I missed the first match on Centre Court, Grigor Dimitrov – Michael Llodra: 6-7 6-3 6-3 for Dimitrov, Llodra announces 2014 will be his last year on the circuit.
– Pablo Andujar – Vacek Popisil: an unexpected win for the 28 year old Spaniard. Andujar was at home in Valencia when he received a call announcing him the forfeit of Gael Monfils. He replaced him in the main draw and got past the young Canadian.
Richard Gasquet – Fernando Verdasco: with this win, the Frenchman moves a bit closer to the ATP Finals.

A hot dog, a glimpse at Djokovic practice, and I’m ready for the night session and the second round match between Kei Nishikori and Jo Wilfried Tsonga, hands down the most entertaining match I’ve watched all week.
– next match on center court is Djokovic against Herbert, let’s say I’m not Djokovic biggest fan, so I pass. The world number 189 has two set points before losing to the world number 2 in straight sets.

Other results:
Michal Przysiezny def. Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 7-6
Nicolas Mahut def. Alexander Dolgopolov 7-6 6-1
Ivan Dodig def. Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 6-4
Marcel Granollers def. Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 6-4
Kevin Anderson def. Mikhail Youzhny 4-6 7-6 2-1 ret.

Day 3 (Wednesday, October 30 )

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, Federer, Ferrer, Del Potro: the big names are out on court today.

– Gilles Simon – Nicolas Mahut: Simon wins the 3 hours battle opposing the two French players. I was quite surprised to see the crowd was really pro-Simon, wonder why because he must have one of the most boring game ever, and let’s not talk about his personnality.
Juan Martin Del Potro – Marin Cilic: Cilic’ coach Goran Ivanisevic in the stands to watch his player lose to recent Basel winner, Del Potro.
Rafael Nadal – Marcel Granollers: the indoor court at Bercy is far from Nadal’s favourite surface but he’s targeting a strong finish to the year. 7-5 7-5 victory for the world number, who was playing his first match in four years at Bercy.

Other results:
David Ferrer def. Lukas Rosol 6-0 2-6 6-3
John Isner def. Michal Przysiezny 7-6 4-6 6-3
Nicolas Almagro def. Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Feliciano Lopez 6-3 3-6 6-3
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Tommy Haas 6-2 6-2
Tomas Berdych def. Pablo Andujar 6-2 7-5
Roger Federer def. Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4

Day 4 (Thursday, October 31 )

No tennis for me today, but a visit to the Manufacture des Gobelins, and a street art tour in the 13th arrondissement.
No surprise at Bercy today: all the favorites are through to the quarter-finals. For the first time in the tournament history, the eight quarter-finalists are qualified for the ATP Finals in London.

Stanislas Wawrinka def. Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-2
David Ferrer def. Gilles Simon (FRA/15) 6-2 6-3
Novak Djokovic def. John Isner 6-7 6-1 6-2
Juan Martin Del Potro def. Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-3 6-4
Roger Federer def. Philipp Kolhschreiber 6-3 6-4
Tomas Berdych def. Milos Raonic 7-6 6-4
Richard Gasquet def. Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2
Rafael Nadal def. Jerzy Janowicz 7-5 6-4

Day 5 (Friday, November 1 )

Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro

Last day of my vacation in Paris today, but before I leave, a walk in Chinatown on the morning and two quarter-finals on the afternoon: read the complete quarter-finals recap here.

Hope you enjoyed this recap, you can find all Bercy 2013 articles here.