2012 ATP Paris BNP Paribas Masters Preview
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The final big draw event of the year, Paris Bercy, will have big storylines going in. They include Djokovic and Federer both looking to finish as year end number one, while Tsonga, Tipsarevic, Almagro, Gasquet and Raonic all have at shots at qualifying for the World Tour Finals.
BNP Paribas Masters
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
October 29-November 4, 2012
Prize Money € 2,427,975
Top 8 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Roger Federer
2: Novak Djokovic
3: Andy Murray
4: David Ferrer
5: Tomas Berdych
6: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
7: Juan Martin Del Potro
8: Janko Tipsarevic
Every top 20 player save the injured Nadal is lined up to do battle in the last big tournament of the Tennis season.
First Round Matchups to watch:
Marcos Baghdatis vs. Gilles Simon
Baggy made the semis in Stockholm. Then his wife and former WTA player Karolina Sprem had a baby just a couple days ago, while Simon suffered a 2nd round loss in Valencia to Marcel Granollers. They are both up and down players with talent who could either produce a classic or a straight set rollover. Baggy will either be inspired or tired. Probably a bit of both.
The closest thing to a Crying Baby Kevin Anderson Has Experienced was playing Nalbandian
Kevin Anderson vs. Thomaz Bellucci
This is a meeting between a couple of mid-ranked players who are both in good form right now. Anderson made the quarters in Basel, while Bellucci pushed Roger Federer to three sets in the 2nd round of Basel after coming off a final in Moscow. On the same surface as their previous successes, this match leans Bellucci but the big serving Anderson could pull it off.
Roger Federer, still looking for yet another title in Basel and gunning to remain at world number one, will open with the winner of Baghdatis/Simon and then likely gets 15 seed Kei Nishikori in the 3rd round.
In the quarters, he could meet Tomas Berdych or 12 seed Richard Gasquet. Bellucci, Anderson, Andreas Seppi and Martin Klizan are also in this part of the draw.
Andy Murray looks to finish the year off with a strong opening against Paul-Henri Mathieu or a qualifier, and then will likely do battle with Marin Cilic, a Valencia Quarterfinalist. Cilic is set to meet Phillip Kohlschreiber in the 2nd round. Murray is still playing in Basel.
In the quarters, the winner of Murray/Cilic could meet Juan Monaco or Janko Tipsarevic, who are both looking to qualify for the World Tour Finals. Alexandr Murray could also see Dolgopolov (currently in the Valencia semis) or the man he will play in the semis there, Jurgen Melzer.
Novak Djokovic needs a strong result and some help from Federer to finish as year end number one. He’ll open with Fernando Verdasco or Sam Querrey and then could meet Milos Raonic, the 14 seed. Raonic still possesses an outside shot of making the World Tour Finals. Djokovic’s other possible second round opponents include Jeremy Chardy or a qualifier.
In the quarters, Djokovic should do battle with current Basel semifinalist Juan Martin Del Potro. Other options include a slumping John Isner, who will meet the winner of Radek Stepanek vs. Michael Llodra or Florian Mayer/qualifier.
David Ferrer, still in the hunt for his hometown title in Valencia, will meet the winner of countryman Marcel Granollers vs. Mikhail Youzhny, and then would meet 16 seed Stan Wawrinka. Carlos Berlocq or Denis Istomin.
Ferrer will likely draw Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters, who is working with new coach Roger Rasheed for the first time this week. Ferrer may also face the man he just beat in Valencia, Nicolas Almagro, who needs a good run to make the world tour finals. Viktor Troicki and Julien Benneteau are also in this part of the draw.
Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro
Usually a top 10 player wouldn’t be considered a dark horse, but given the strength of the field and the general dominance of the big 4 in Masters events the title fits. Del Potro, who won in Vienna and is still in the hunt for a title in Basel, plays strong tennis on the indoor hard courts and seems to be in good physical shape going in after recent injuries. He should roll through Mayer and Isner, and if he can somehow find a way through Djokovic, Ferrer or Tsonga would be easier matchups.
Federer d. Murray
Djokovic d. Ferrer
It should be a battle of 1 vs. 2 if everything takes shape, while Ferrer and Tsonga are about even shots at making the semis and Murray could suffer an early loss.
Djokovic d. Federer