Win his straight sets win over Julien Benneteau on Wednesday, Andy Murray has now won 19 of his last 21 matches, with 3 titles under his belt (Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia).
6-3 6-4 for the Scot who can thank Benneteau for all his unforced errors. Murray who is fifth in the race, needs to reach the quarterfinals to qualify for the London ATP finals. He next faces Grigor Dimitrov, who beat him at Wimbledon this year.
Fun fact: Benneteau’s coach, Loic Courteau is the former coach of Amélie Mauresmo who is now the coach of Andy Murray.
A really solid 6-3 6-4 win for Novak Djokovic who is once again the big favorite for the title here. But he could lose his number one ranking if he loses in quarterfinals and Roger Federer wins the tournament.
Djokovic’s coach, Boris Becker won the Bercy tournament three times in 1986, 1989 and 1992. He was also finalist in 1990 and 1995.
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.
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:
And that’s what it looked like today, a vast construction site surrounded by palisades:
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.
The skatepark and the POPB in the background:
I’m pretty sure the player exiting the stadium was Milos Raonic, what do you think?
Some renderings of the future 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.