Lucas Pouille

Roger Federer vs Lucas Pouille. World number 2 vs world number 176. A 17-time Grand Slam champion vs a player taking part to his first Masters 1000 event. Prior to this week, Pouille had only won one tour-level match, against Alex Kuznetsov last year at Roland Garros. He beat Steve Johnson and Jarkko Nieminen in the qualifiers, and then Ivo Karlovic and Fabio Fognini in the main draw to reach the third round here in Bercy.
The match seemed unbalanced on paper, but not so much on the court.

Roger Federer

Federer won with relative ease 6-4 6-4, but I wasn’t impressed by his playing level. And I still don’t get why he doesn’t play more serve and volleys in such a game. As for Lucas Pouille, he did not seem impressed to play his idol Roger Federer in front of 12,000 people. He played a solid match, with some big serving and clean groundstrokes.

Lucas Pouille

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Andy Murray

Andy Murray needed a win over Grigor Dimitrov to secure a spot at the London ATP Finals. The Scot did it and did it in style as he dispatched Dimitrov 6-3 6-3 in a bit more than an hour. The world number 11 showed flashes of brilliance but the Scot was in control from the first to the last point of the match.

Andy Murray

The 23 year-old Bulgarian had a great season with three titles on three different surfaces (Acapulco, Bucharest, Queen’s) and a semifinal at Wimbledon.

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov

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Stan Wawrinka won his first match in four tournaments when he beat Dominic Thiem on Wednesday, only to lose to Kevin Anderson the next day. He served for the match and even had a few match points but Anderson prevailed 6-7 7-5 7-6. It was the Australian Open champion third loss to the South African this year.

Stan Wawrinka

I arrived just in time to see the last 5 games of the match so here are a few pictures:

Boris Becker

Boris Becker, looking bored during Djokovic second round win over Philipp Kohlschreiber:

Boris Becker

Becker won the Bercy tournament three times in 1986, 1989 and 1992. He was also finalist in 1990 and 1995.

Former world number one Amélie Mauresmo, now Andy Murray’s coach:

Amélie Mauresmo

Amélie Mauresmo

Amélie Mauresmo

Michael Chang watching Kei Nishikori’s second round win over Tommy Robredo, with his wife and eldest daughter. Roland Garros champion in 1989, he reached the semifinals at Bercy 3 times (1991, 1994, 1999).

Michael Chang

Wawrinka’s coach, Magnus Norman. He never got past the second round as a player, but he was Robin Soderling’s coach when he won the title back in 2010.

Magnus Norman

Magnus Norman

Sébastien Grosjean, during Richard Gasquet’s victory over Denis Istomin. He captured the biggest title of his career here in 2001. Only two other French players won the Bercy title: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008, and Guy Forget in 1991.

Sébastien Grosjean

Nicolas Escudé, coach of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He won the doubles title with Fabrice Santoro in 2002.

Nicolas Escudé

Tennis greatest entertainer Mansour Bahrami. I had the pleasure to see him once again at the Optima Open last August.

Mansour Bahrami

Arnaud Di Pasquale:

Arnaud Di Pasquale

Also seen (but no pics, sorry): Davis Cup captain Arnaud Clément, Bercy tournament director Guy Forget, and former Bercy tournament director Cédric Pioline.

Sadly, my all-time favorite player Stefan Edberg was not in Paris with the Federer team, but at least I managed to see Marat Safin:

POPB

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Kei Nishikori

While Tsonga and Melzer were playing on Court Central in front of 10,000 people, Tommy Robredo and Kei Nishikori were battling on Court 1 in front of about 300 people.
Court 1 is terrible, the ceiling is low, it is really noisy and looks like a warehouse or a bunker. The only good thing is that spectators are close to the players.

I arrive just in time to see the Spaniard take the first set 7-6.

Tommy Robredo

Playing more aggressively, the recent US Open finalist won the next two sets, defeating Robredo 6-7 6-2 6-3. The season is now over for Robredo, but Nishikori remains on course for the London ATP finals.

1989 French Open champion Michael Chang watching the match with his wife and daughter:

Michael Chang

Game, set, match Nishikori:

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

I only watched the first set, won easily by Tsonga 6-2, before heading to court 1 for the Nishikori-Robredo second round match. I was quite surprised to learn that Tsonga had to battle three sets to defeat Melzer.

Here are a few pictures of the match:

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