Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

At the Western and Southern Open, I saw lines for autograph signings stretching out from the Midwest Sports tent (where Berdych was stationed Monday morning) and the Western and Southern tent (where ticketed signings were conducted with Sharapova, Murray, Wozniacki, and others).

line for Berdych autographs

line for autographs

The crowds at the entrance to the players’ center were thick at the start of the week, but thinned out considerably by the second and third rounds. The marshals no longer needed to move the barriers (to clear a path to the entrance) each time a recognizable player approached.

Martina Hingis

Gilles Simon

Recognizability wasn’t always a criteria with the autograph hunters. Near the entrance, I overheard one child ask another, “Who is she?” as the rest of the crowd called out, “Sam! Sam!” During the first round of qualifying, I watched a gaggle of kids gather at the far gate of Court 7 after Teymuraz Gabashvili suddenly won his match (Jimmy Wang having retired in the third set after just one game, with a right leg problem). Some of the girls had been watching Jelena Jankovic practice over on Court 8, running over when their guardian gestured to them. When Gabashvili left the court through the center gate instead of the far gate, the kids chased after him:

children chasing after Gabashvili

After they obtained his signature, two teenagers walked past me, looking at the balls he’d signed for them. One said to the other, “So what’s his name?” “Oh, we’ll never know.” Then they caught sight of the scoreboard and tried to sound out “Gabashvili.”

Who knew that Adrian Mannarino was so popular?

autographs and selfies

The tournament prides itself on offering plenty of non-tennis diversions (the headline for one ad reads, “Not a tennis fanatic? Not a problem”). Among its many committees is a crew of horticulture volunteers. In tandem with LaMond Design, the official landscape company of the tournament, they planted thousands of flowers (mostly annuals) around the tennis center before the tournament started.

Flowers at the Western & Southern Open

Flowers at the Western & Southern Open

There were two plant sales that I know of at the end of the tournament. One was to the volunteers, and one was to the public (with proceeds going to the Mason High School boys’ tennis team). I returned to the center near the end of the sale to see what “everything must go!” looked like:

cincy tennis plant sale 006

at the end of the tournament

Here’s a last look at the flowers as they were, after the Wednesday night session:

at the end of the evening session

More reports from Cincinnati:
On the way to the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open main draw party
Friday evening at Lindner Family Tennis Center
Seeking relief from the heat
Proximity
Interviews and Press Conferences
The Mixed Zone

Roger Federer

Check out the first part here with pictures of Berdych, Nadal, Ferrer, Wawrinka, Wozniacki and more!

Francesca Schiavone:

Francesca Schiavone

Jump!

Francesca Schiavone 
Francesca Schiavone

Kristina Mladenovic:

Kristina Mladenovic

Sara Errani:

Sara Errani

Sara Errani

Federer first round match vs Lukas Lacko:

Roger Federer

Lukas Lacko

Mirka with twins 1 and 2:

Mirka Federer and twins

Serena first round match vs Alizé Lim:

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Alizé Lim

Serena Williams and Alizé Lim

Gilles Simon:

Gilles Simon

Lucie Safarova:

Lucie Safarova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Tommy Haas:

Tommy Haas

Tommy Haas

Yanina Wickmayer:

Yanina Wickmayer

Martina Hingis, who’ll play the Legends tournament and who “coaches” Sabine Lisicki:

David Ferrer second practice session of the day, this time with Pico Monaco:

David Ferrer

Juan Monaco

Garbine Muguruza vs Grace Min:

Garbine Muguruza

Grace Min

Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer breeze into next round. Agnieszka Radwanska needs 3 sets to overcome Yulia Putintseva.

Seeds upsets:

Elena Svitolina def Svetlana Kuznetsova (19), Garbine Muguruza def Kaia Kanepi (24), Marina Erakovic def Sorana Cirstea (21), Martin Klizan def John Isner (13)

Match of the day: Gilles Simon defeats Daniel Brands 6-7 6-4 3-6 6-3 16-14

Simon saves 7 match points and wins after 4 hours and 32 minutes of play.

Australian player of the day: Lleyton Hewitt

The recent Brisbane champion rallied from two sets down but lost in 5 sets and 4 hours and 18 minutes to 24th seed Andreas Seppi. The Australian Open is not over for Hewitt yet, as he’ll play doubles with Pat Rafter.

Video highlights:

Stat of the day: 6

6 players retired today: Bernard Tomic, Robin Haase, Julian Reister, John Isner, Radek Stepanek and Polona Hercog who retired after only one game! That makes 9 retirements in the first round with the retirements of Andrey Golubev, Tommy Haas and Alex Bogomolov and yesterday. I guess it must be some kind of record.

Pic of the day: Svetlana Kuznetsova

wearing her Qiaodan dress. Fashion hit or miss?

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Video of the day: Thanasi Kokkinakis victory lap


Matches to follow on Day 3:

Hewitt/Rafter – Butorac/Klaasen
Nikolay Davydenko – Richard Gasquet (8)
Sam Querrey – Ernests Gulbis (23)

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.

It’s time to wear white again. Check out some pics of the new HEAD White Bag collection, consisting of the HEAD White Monstercombi Tennis Racquet Bag and the 4 Majors Club Bag.

For every Grand Slam tournament the series introduces a new club bag in a bespoke design. As part of the White Series the first 4 Majors Club Bag, coloured in white with green striped shoulder straps, comes right in time for Wimbledon. The HEAD Club Bag collection will also feature different colours and designs for the upcoming US Open, the Australian Open and the French Open.

The new White Bag collection will be premiered at Wimbledon by Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet.

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

Tomas Berdych

The new HEAD White Bag collection is a limited edition and is available in-store at selected retailers now.