Scouting Report: A Lot On The Line In Paris
Last Stop Before London: The final tournament of the regular season on the ATP World Tour takes place in Bercy with the BNP Paribas Masters. Seven players are in contention to battle for the final two spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. The 48-player draw includes four former winners, led by three-time reigning champion (four overall) Djokovic (2009, 2013-15), David Ferrer (2012) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008), and Tomas Berdych (2005). Djokovic is the only four-time winner in the history of the tournament.
Two Spots Left in London: Seven players are within mathematical reach of Marin Cilic, who holds the eighth and final spot with 3,090 points, 210 points ahead of Tomas Berdych. The seven players still alive in the London hunt are: Dominic Thiem, Cilic, Berdych, David Goffin, Roberto Bautista Agut, Vienna finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille.
A Look Ahead in Paris: There are several potential third-round matches that could be critical in determining who is eliminated from London contention.
In the top half of the draw, Cilic (3,090), who passed Berdych for the final spot in London, is on a third-round collision course with Goffin. Cilic will square off against countryman Karlovic or a qualifier in the second round, while Goffin plays the winner of Nicolas Mahut and Martin Klizan. Djokovic is looming as a likely quarter-final opponent in that section.
In the bottom half, No. 7 seed Berdych (2,880), who must reach the semi-finals to have a chance for London, could meet No. 10 seed Bautista Agut (2,340) in the third round – who must win the title to have a London shot. No. 11 seed Tsonga, who could face No. 5 seed Nishikori in the third round, must win the title to have a chance for London. No. 13 seed Pouille (2,106) will likely need to advance past World No. 2 Murray – and go on to win the title – to keep alive his London hopes.
2016 ATP Masters 1000 Finals: The Big Four have accounted for seven of the eight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles this season, with Djokovic leading the way with four crowns, Murray with two and Nadal with one.
Big Four Dominance: The ‘Big Four’ of Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal have won 55 of the past 60 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, which dates back to Nadal’s triumph at Monte-Carlo in 2010. The only other players to emerge with an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title are Robin Soderling (2010 Paris), David Ferrer (2011 Paris), Stan Wawrinka (2014 Monte-Carlo) , Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2014 Toronto) and Marin Cilic (2016 Cincinnati).
Doubles Draw: There are 10 of the Top 12 teams in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race to London in the Paris draw. There are five teams battling for the final two spots in London. The No. 7 (Kontinen/Peers) and No. 8 teams (Huey/Mirnyi) meet in the first round. No. 9 Rojer/Tecau, last year’s champions in London, must reach the semi-finals AND have Huey/Mirnyi lose in the first round to have a chance. No. 10 Cabal/Farah must reach the final AND have Huey/Mirnyi lose in the first round to have a chance. No. 12 Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin must win the title AND have Huey/Mirnyi lose in the first round to have a chance.
World No. 1/Reigning Champion: World No. 1 and reigning champion (four overall) Djokovic is making his 12th straight tournament appearance. He has a 26-6 career record in Bercy, having won the title in 2009 and from 2013-15. He began with a 3-4 record in his first four appearances before going 23-2 the past seven years (W/O in ’11).
Djokovic has compiled a 59-7 match record (41-4 on hard) on the season and is co-leader on the ATP World Tour with seven titles, including crowns at the Australian Open and Roland Garros and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Toronto. On Monday, it will mark the 223rd week overall he has ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, which is fifth most (since Aug. 23, 1973). He has held No. 1 every week since July 7, 2014, a streak of 122 consecutive weeks. Djokovic is trying to finish No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the third straight year and fifth time in six years (except ’13).
Roland Garros/Bercy Double: In June, Djokovic completed a career Grand Slam by capturing his first Roland Garros title (d. Murray). It was his 12th attempt at Roland Garros. The only player to win Roland Garros and Bercy titles in the same year was Andre Agassi in 1999.
French Title Hopes: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the last French player to win the Bercy title. The 2008 champion is one of 11 Frenchmen in the main draw. Since then, Gael Monfils was runner-up in 2009-10 and Tsonga in ’11. The other French winners in Bercy are Sebastien Grosjean in 2001 and Guy Forget in 1991.
In Case You Missed It
Andy Murray closed in on No. 1 with a title in Vienna. Read
Marin Cilic topped Kei Nishikori in the Basel final. Read
Who are the seven players vying for the two remaining London berths? Read
Jack Sock and Marcel Granollers won doubles in Basel. Read
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo repeat in Vienna. Read
3 November - Lukas Lacko (29)
7 November – Alexandr Dolgopolov (28)
Paris – Singles
Novak Djokovic: 745 wins
Kei Nishikori: 299 wins
Paris – Doubles
Jean-Julien Rojer: 295 wins
Nicolas Mahut: 248 wins
Henri Kontinen: 99 wins
Jack Sock: 98 wins