Catching Up With Bercy

We’ve reached the semifinal round in the Paris Masters aka Bercy. Life has been busy this week, and I’ve been going through major tennis withdrawals because I haven’t been able to watch anything! Luckily I’ll be back in action next week for the WTFs, where the Top 8 guys–Nadal, Djokovic, Ferrer, Delpo, Fed, Berdych, Gasquet, and Wawrinka–will be partying it up in the last tournament in the year.

Sorry, Jo. It just wasn’t your year.

The Final Four in Bercy area a familiar group of faces in the tennis scene: Djokovic vs. Federer and Nadal vs. Ferrer. It’s obviously no surprise to see Djokovic and Nadal reach the weekend, but both Federer and Ferrer have turned back the clock a bit this European-indoor season and found some form that has been lacking from both throughout the year. Overall, it’s a good sign for the WTF Entertainment Quotient. (Also, isn’t it weird that Bercy has gone relatively to-form this year? Usually it’s the end of the year and nobody really cares and we get some really big surprises.)

Of course, just because there are the recurring cast of characters this weekend doesn’t mean that there weren’t a few notable moments along the way. I mean, this is France, after all! Here are just a few of the things I saw while scrolling through Twitter this week:

Gilles Simon was there! It will never not be hysterical to see him in that shirt. He beat Mahut in a third-set tiebreaker in the second round before falling to Ferrer meekly in the third round. He will finish the year ranked approx. No. 19.

The story earlier in the week was Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the 22-year-old Frenchmen ranked No. 189 who qualified for the main draw and then stunned Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-2 in under an hour in the first round. He faced Djokovic in the second round, and while he lost, he did have two set points in the first set!

He is ADORABLE. I mean, seriously. Check out his Twitter, @P2Hugz (HUGZ, you guys. Hugz.) and check out his background photo where he’s lounging on the court at the Australian Open like he’s a model in a bikini posing on top of a sports car for a calendar. If there were any doubt that he was French, well, there shouldn’t be.

Speaking of modeling and sports cars…

Marin Cilic came back from his controversial and shortened doping ban, and it was a good thing because that means GORAN IS BACK TOO. Marin beat Sijsling in the first round and played Delpo pretty closely in the second round, so it was a nice return for him. From the interviews I read he seemed very, very excited to be back on the tennis court, so keep an eye on Cilic in 2014. Perhaps this whole incident will actually light a bit of a fire under him.

Rafa’s around, still doing the winning. He’s had a nice week, taking out Granollers, Janowicz, and then Gasquet.

Feliciano Lopez was around too, doing Feliciano Lopez things. (Going shirtless and signing the camera with a heart and his girlfriend’s first initial.) He beat Tomic in a third-set tiebreaker in the first round before falling to London-bound Wawrinka in a tight third-round match. Lopez will end the year ranked around No. 28.

Gael Monfils was around too, except he never got to play singles because he fell and hurt himself during a warm-up and had to withdraw. And there you have a summary of Gael’s season. He’ll finish the year ranked 30ish, and should be seeded for Australia, which is probably good news for everyone. (If he even makes it to Australia without falling first.)

It was a big week for Richard Gasquet, who played some great tennis (or so I hear) to take out Fernando Verdasco and Kei Nishikori and secure his spot in the WTFs for the first time since 2007. There are few things more heartwarming than a PUMPED. UP. Gasquet.

From what I hear, the Federer/Delpo quarterfinal was one of the highlights of the tournament. Based on the highlights I saw, Fed seems to be playing with the combo of confidence, flair, and grit that was missing from his game for most of the year. This was only his second Top 10 win of the year, and his first since taking out No. 8 Tsonga in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

But have no fear: there was still bromance.

Nobody will be getting their first Masters title this year. There is no breakout star like Janowicz. (He lost to Rafa in the third round, as our JJ documented.) But still, it’s nice to see that the top guys have come to compete at the end of the year. It should be a fun finish.

Oh, and Federer might have shaded Murray. Again.

Lindsay is an author, a filmmaker, a long-winded blogger, and a huge tennis fan.

3 Responses

  1. Demi
    Demi November 2, 2013 at 4:15 am |

    Great post Lindsay. Love that you guys spread out the tennis love here as opposed to focus on the big guns all the time. One note out of curiosity on Fed’s comment. The 4-month thing seems so specific that I wonder if a doctor actually told him that’s what he would have to do maybe post-back surgery. Perhaps at IW? And he stupidly chose some other alternative method of healing. Or maybe i’m just trying to make sense of an unnecessary jab.

  2. GlamspinTennis
    GlamspinTennis November 4, 2013 at 1:43 am |

    Loving the passion from Gasquet in the pics above. He really wanted to make it to London and I am glad that he did!

  3. RZ
    RZ November 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    Fun post!

    On that link about Fed’s comment, I think it’s a real stretch for the author to say that he’s calling out Murray, or Rafa, or anyone. I can’t imagine Fed thinks that Murray’s back issue, which required surgery, is not a barrier to his playing good tennis.

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