“Disappointed and Saddened”: Tournament Director on Player Pullouts From Rolex Paris Masters

Published 11/02/2020, 2:06 AM EST
A general view of the stadium as Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a forehand in his Men’s Singles Final match against Denis Shapovalov of Canada on day 7 of the Rolex Paris Masters, part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 held at the at AccorHotels Arena on in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

French tennis legend Guy Forget has voiced his disappointment over several top players pulling out of the Rolex Paris Masters this year. 

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The director of the tournament, which is also known as the Parisian Masters 1000, Forget said, “Behind closed doors, we’re certainly a little disappointed, but the tournament will take place, that’s the positive point.”

While the country is under a fresh lockdown in the wake of a resurgence in Covid cases, Forget said he was happy the tournament was being held as scheduled.

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Paris Masters: Forget unhappy with several top players missing out

Speaking to media persons a day before the tournament, Forget said he was satisfied that all health measures are in place to host a hitch-free and safe Rolex Paris Masters this year.

However, while not taking names, he did vent his misgivings over the withdrawal of several top names from the Masters this year. “I’m a little disappointed and saddened that some could have come and given themselves a chance to perform here.

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“There are 1,000 points for the winner…This is one of the nine biggest tournaments in the world after the Grand Slams. So why deprive themselves when for some, they went several months without hitting the ball,” Forget said.

Rafael Nadal returns a forehand in his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on day 5 of the Rolex Paris Masters, part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 held at the at AccorHotels Arena on November 01, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Rolex Paris Masters: Is Covid to blame for pullouts?

While the reason for the pullouts isn’t known, there are speculations that the surging Covid numbers in France could have something to do with it.

“When a career ends, for physical reasons, for ranking reasons, a lot of players say to themselves: ‘Ah, it was still great, I had this opportunity to play, to earn a good living, to win ATP points, to give emotions to an audience…,” Forget said.

“For those few rare individuals, I find it a bit of a shame. But the others say thank you and that’s good,” said the helmer of Rolex Paris Masters

While Forget, who is also the tournament director at Roland Garros, didn’t hide his disappointment over the pullouts, he did give a point to ponder for those missing in action. 

Paris Masters: Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire missing out on ranking points

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Eleventh-ranked Frenchman Gael Monfils hasn’t won a match since returning to the ATP circuit. After pulling out mid-match during the first round encounter with Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Monfils ruled out featuring in the remaining ATP events this year. 

The Paris Masters could have presented him with an opportunity to pick up some valuable ranking points at home in the tail-end of the ATP calendar.

Another Frenchman, Benoit Paire, brought the curtains down on his 2020 ATP season after failing to bag an entry to an event in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan. He cited his inability to motivate himself when playing to empty stands.

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After the resumption of tennis post lockdown, he entered the fray for the French Open but failed to progress beyond the first round.

 

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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