The news that the Rolex Paris Masters 2020 would be played behind closed doors has disconcerted many, including some French professional players. Gael Monfils (34), Richard Gasquet (34), Benoit Paire (31), Gilles Simon (35) came together recently to discuss the next generation and their participation in the upcoming Bercy.
Paris is one of the most highly anticipated events in tennis every year. Unfortunately, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the French Tennis Federation has decided to organize the event behind closed doors. This same course of action has been undertaken in many ATP tournaments this year. This has left a dire effect on some players’ performances.
The 2020 season, however, has been great for some next-generation players. The Austrian Dominic Thiem lifting the US Open, and the German Alexander Zverev and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas ruling at the ATP Finals for the last two years have brought them into the limelight.
Richard Gasquet is a 15 ATP titles winner and was once a World No. 7. In a conversation on the young and new tennis stars, he expressed that it wasn’t the same during their time. He said, “It’s important that we support the new generation. When we were young, I’m not sure we had the support of everyone, at the federation, the former players. I felt a little distrust. We have to save them time.”
Frenchman Gilles Simon added another stimulating factor to this conversation. He has won 14 ATP titles and has reached the spot of the World No. 6. He said, “The luck they have is that they won’t have the three best players of all time.”
This argument has been valid for over the last two decades in tennis as the Big Three – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – have significantly ruled with each passing year. However, the Swiss maestro is 39 now. Nadal and Djokovic might have a few more years left, but the next wave is tennis is definitely approaching the shore.
Age is a gruesome factor when it comes to tennis, and the French players reflected on that. The current World No. 11 Monfils mentioned his view regarding the coming Paris Masters and said, “I don’t play Bercy, it makes me feel good to breathe, not to think about tennis at all.”
What was surprising was that the two other French players on the panel took no time in joining Monfils. Paire was the first to respond and said, “We may be two quite quickly” to which Gasquet responded, “Maybe three, you never know.”
Rolex Paris Masters 2020 is at the brink of its inauguration but seems to lack the volume of attention it usually generates. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal will be participating in the event alongside the other 15 Top 20 players.
For the senior Frenchmen, the Paris Masters looks like a big no. Benoit Paire blamed the regulations and the way the tennis tournaments are being concluded amidst the pandemic. He added, “99 chances out of 100 that I won’t play Bercy. I’m sad on the court right now.”
The ATP Masters 1000 in Paris is starting from the October 31 and will end on November 8.