Tennis Prose



Djokovic To Skip Paris Masters; Nadal Will Play

Two of the tennis world´s biggest stars have confirmed their intentions ahead of the Paris Masters event. Last year´s winner, Novak Djokovic, will give it a miss this time. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will play it, as he attempts to win this tournament for the first time.

What Is the Paris Masters?

Taking place between November 2 and 8 at the indoors AccorHotels Arena in the Bercy neighborhood of Paris, the Masters is an event solely for male players. It forms part of the ATP Tour Masters 100 on the professional tennis tour.

This tournament was known in the past as the French Covered Court Championships and is now one of the tour’s top events. Correctly known as the Rolex Paris Masters, you might see it referred to as the Paris Indoor Open.

Anyone who watched the action from here in the past is likely to notice a difference in the speed of play. While it used to be one of the fastest courts anywhere on the pro circuit, it is now a good deal slower than it used to be.

What Has Djokovic Decided to Do?

Novak Djokovic is one of just a few players to have won both this event and the French Open. He is also currently the only player to have successfully defended this title and has won it a record five times.

Last year, the Serbian beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 to win the title without dropping a single set along the way. However, it was a bitter-sweet victory in some ways, as Nadal overtook him as the world number 1 once the tournament ended.

Djokovic has said that he won’t play in it this year, as he has no points to win at it in his quest to hold onto the world number 1 spot that he regained again in February this year. However, he pointed out to a Belgrade journalist that he plans to play in Vienna and London, where a wealth of points are available.

This is because the ATP has produced a new ranking system this year that sees players retain their points earned last year. Compare to some of the most lopsided rivalries we have seen in sports like basketball, the battle for the men’s number 1 tennis spot has been thrillingly close and the top position has changed hands several times in the last few years.

What About Nadal?

On the other hand, Rafa Nadal has confirmed that he will be in Paris for these games. He recently won his 13th French Open in the same city, defeating 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 at Roland Garros, for his 4th consecutive French Open and a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam singles title.

Rafa has decided the skip the Vienna tournament after this, so the next time that we see him in a tournament with the Serbian is likely to be at the London ATP Final from November 15 to 22.

This apparent u-turn in the Spaniard’s thinking comes after he had earlier hinted that he might not play any more games this season. After winning the outdoor event in Paris, Nadal said that he couldn’t confirm if he would play again in the next couple of months.

If he wins in Bercy, it will be his first Paris Masters title. In 2019, he had to withdraw from his semi-final against Shapovalov due to an abdominal injury that he suffered during the warm-up.

Interestingly, he has now won 999 ATP singles matches and his next victory will see him join Roger Federer in the list of players with 1,000 wins. 10% of those winning games have been in the French Open that he has dominated in recent years. By the way, if you love tennis and sports in general, make sure you take some of the quizzes in this page to test your knowledge on it:

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 22, 2020 at 8:57 am

    The chase for no. 1 is always an added bonus to the season, attaining the year end no. 1 is a huge benefit for players as they get big bonuses from their sponsors for it. For example Marcelo Rios received $2.5m each from both Nike and Yonex when he became no. 1 in Miami in 1998.



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