BNP PARIBAS MASTERS 2013
Paris Monday Preview: Nadal, Djokovic Lead Field
by Greg Sharko|
SINGLES HIGHLIGHTS - NADAL, DJOKOVIC LEAD FIELD AS EMIRATES ATP RACE TO LONDON INTENSIFIES
• The final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the season gets underway on Monday at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy featuring 18 of the Top 20 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings. There are five former champions in the field: David Ferrer (2012), Roger Federer (2011), Novak Djokovic (2009), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008), and Tomas Berdych (2005).
• Going back to Monte-Carlo in 2010, 31 of the past 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles have been won by a member of the Big 4 (Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Andy Murray), with the only exceptions coming here in 2010 and last year with Robin Soderling and David Ferrer, respectively, capturing the title.
• No. 1 Nadal is making his fourth appearance in Bercy, the first since 2009. His best result was a runner-up in his debut in 2007. No. 2 Djokovic is making his ninth straight tournament appearance and he won the title in ’09. He trails Nadal by 2,060 points in the Emirates ATP Race to London. Djokovic comes in with a 12-match winning streak after back-to-back titles in Beijing and ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai. Nadal leads the ATP World Tour with 10 titles and a 68-5 match record this season. He is 10-3 in finals, with two Grand Slam crowns and five ATP Masters 1000 titles.
• There are three positions remaining for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, which begins next Monday. The final spots held going in are: No. 7 Federer, No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 9 Richard Gasquet, who is 65 points ahead of No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the final spot in the Emirates ATP Race to London. The two Frenchmen could meet in the third round on Thursday. Gasquet and Tsonga are tied at 4-4 in their head-to-head meetings.
• With No. 8 Wawrinka (3,150 points) in the opposite half of the draw, it means that only one of the Frenchmen can qualify for London if the Swiss No. 2 wins his second round match (after a bye). Wawrinka is bidding to clinch a berth in the season finale for the first time. Gasquet qualified in 2007 and Tsonga is aiming for his fourth qualification.
• Federer (3,445 points), who finished runner-up in Basel on Sunday, will clinch his 12th straight appearance in the year-end finale if he wins his opening round match. He will face the winner of Kevin Anderson and Mikhail Youzhny in his second round match (after a bye).
• Other players with a mathematical chance of qualifying for London, include 11th-placed Milos Raonic, Tommy Haas (12th), Nicolas Almagro (13th) and Youzhny (14th), who won his 10th career ATP World Tour title in Valencia on Sunday. Raonic is in the top half of the draw while the other three are in the bottom half.
DOUBLES HIGHLIGHTS – TOP-RANKED BRYANS & AUSTRIAN-BRAZILIAN DUO TOP TWO SEEDS
• World No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan the two-time champions (2005, ’07) are playing here for the 13th consecutive year (11-10 record). The Bryans have already clinched their ninth year-end No. 1 ranking in the past 11 years. They fell short of a calendar-year Grand Slam when they lost to Paes-Stepanek in the US Open SF. They were looking to become the first team to capture all four majors in one season since Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor in 1951. In July, they became the first team in tennis history to hold all four majors and the Olympic gold medal at the same time with their third title at Wimbledon (d. Melo-Dodig) and improved to 15-10 in Grand Slam finals. The Bryans have 10 titles this season (10-3 mark), also winning in Sydney, Australian Open, Memphis, ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells, ATP Masters 1000 Madrid, ATP Masters 1000 Rome, Roland Garros, London / Queen’s Club and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati. They are the only team to win each Grand Slam at least twice. They are 25-17 lifetime in ATP Masters 1000 finals. They come in with a career record of 840-261 (63-11 in 2013).
• The No. 2 seeds are Austrian-Brazilian duo of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, who qualified for their first Barclays ATP World Tour Finals appearance after compiling a 50-17 record with five titles (5-4 in finals). On Sunday they defeated the Bryans in Valenica for their fifth title on the year. They captured their first ATP Masters 1000 title in Montreal (d. Fleming-A. Murray) in August. They also won titles in Sao Paulo (d. Cermak-Mertinak), Barcelona (d. Lindstedt -Nestor) and Eastbourne (d. Fleming-Marray). Finalists at ATP Masters 1000 Madrid and London / Queen’s Club (l. to Bryans both times), Hamburg (l. to Fyrstenberg-Matkowski) and reached first career Grand Slam final at US Open (l. to Paes-Stepanek).
• The No. 3 seeds are the Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, who are the defending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions, will be appearing in the tour finale for the second time. They come into Paris with a career record of 85-44 (29-20 this year). They reached their 10th career ATP World Tour doubles finals, first since winning here last year, at ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l. to Bryans) in August. They dropped to 3-7 in finals. In January they reached their second career Grand Slam SF as a tandem at the Australian Open and also reached QF at Roland Garros (l. to Llodra-Mahut). They are playing together here for the first time. Granollers reached the final here with Tommy Robredo in 2009 (l. to Nestor-Zimonjic). Lopez is playing here for the first time.
• The No. 4 seeds are the second-year-team of Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, who also qualified for their first Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after compiling a 21-16 record with one title (1-1 in finals). They captured their first career ATP Masters 1000 title at Shanghai (d. Marrero-Verdasco). In Grand Slam play went 11-4 this year, highlighted by reaching their first career Grand Slam doubles final at first Wimbledon (l. to Bryans) in July. They also reached the SF at US Open (l. to Peya-Soares). They are playing together here for the first time.