A solid 6-2 7-5 win over Leonardo Mayer for the best-ranked French player. Gasquet, who’s been really playing well lately, will face Kei Nishikori in the third round tomorrow, an interesting opposition of styles!
After the first few points I thought “Ok, this match will be over in an hour.” Bellucci dropped his serve early in the match, but he kept fighting and even broke back Djokovic’s serve. Despite unusual unforced errors, Djokovic dictated the game from the baseline, and battled past the 40th-ranked Brazilian 7-5 6-3.
Rafaael Nadal teamed up with veteran Leander Paes to play doubles in Bercy this week. They lost in straight to Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt in the first round. Rafa seemed to have trouble finding his rythm and missed lots of volleys. He’ll play his second round singles match against Lukas Rosol tomorrow.
David Ferrer defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov
An entertaining doubles match to finish this first morning session: the experienced team of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek face the pair of Lucas Pouille and Fabrice Martin. I must admit I had never heard of Martin before today, but he was quite impressive at the net, and the French pair win the first set 6-3. The veteran Stepanek is on fire in the second set, and the Czechs level at one set all. Martin hurts himself during the match tiebreak, and Berdych and Stepanek win 3-6 6-0 10-4.
I’m in Paris until Thursday for the BNP Paribas Masters (aka Bercy Masters). There’s usually plenty at stake in the ninth and final Masters 1000 event of the year: the race for world number one ranking or the battle for a place in the season-ending London finals. But this year, the eight players who have secured their spots are already known: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori.
I have however big expectations for this tournament:
– I’m eager to see the “new” Bercy arena: the POPB that hosts the Bercy Masters has been completely renovated (read more about the modernization project)
– I didn’t manage to get tickets for the Davis Cup final, so I would like to see the clash between Andy Murray and David Goffin in the third round. I also would like to see Rafa Nadal and Kei Nishikori.
My first impressions about the renovated arena: everything looks so … grey: the court, the seats, the hallway. It’s quite depressing! The food is expensive, as usual: €8 for a pizza slice, €4 for a 50cl Coke bottle! If you plan to attend the Bercy Masters next year, bring your own food. There’s also a bakery just in front of the arena where you can buy good sandwiches. On the plus side: free wifi is now available in the arena, and the seats are much more comfortable!