Well, we have our winner in Bercy, and he’s a good, old fashioned Swedish indoor hardcourt player.
It’s nice to see someone overcome by their first ever Masters victory, especially when they’re a two-time Major finalist and a typically unimpressed-by-it-all kind of ice man like Robin Soderling.
One of the big stories developing in Paris was the buildup to the tasty France vs. Serbia Davis Cup final in December. During today’s trophy ceremony, Gael Monfils promised the Parisian crowd one hell of a consolation prize for his loss in Sunday’s final. Earlier this week, Llodra serve and volleyed Serb No. 1 Novak Djokovic off the indoor hardcourts with vitesse. Yet for some reason Llodra is still in doubt as the No. 2 singles player? After what’s he’s already done this year vs. Spain and Argentina? Via tennis.com:
Seven French players and Davis Cup captain Guy Forget will head to St. Cyprien at the end of next week to begin preparations for the Davis Cup final in Serbia in December.
Gael Monfils, Michael Llodra, Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, Arnaud Clement and Julien Benneteau will all travel to the coastal area in the south of France for training, accompanied by the injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Gasquet pulled out of a scheduled challenger event this coming week in order to concentrate on the Davis Cup buildup.
Monfils is virtually assured of being named for singles play if healthy, but Forget has a difficult decision to make in selecting the second singles player. Llodra made himself the prime candidate by defeating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in Paris, but is also expected to feature in doubles play and could require substitution for one of the singles matches in order to avoid playing three times in three days. Simon and Gasquet are the other potential picks for singles.
Well, France does have beaucoup options, if you consider Gasquet and Simon more than flashy bench warmers.
Okay, so I can tell that a lot of people were underwhelmed by the Paris final, especially after those thrilling semifinals on Saturday. Even Soderling made mention of it during the trophy ceremony, when he commiserated with Monfils about the effort it takes to beat Roger Federer. It was like he was saying, “Don’t worry, beating Roger is almost as good as this.”
Well. . .maybe:
Speaking of Roger, he’s already looking forward to the WTF in London next week. Via the ATP:
“I think I have good chances maybe in London for winning,” declared Federer, who has a staggering 29-7 record at the season finale since making his debut in 2002. “I feel good physically. In a way it is a relief that I was able to finish the tournament [in Paris-Bercy] in good physical health. I’m fresh mentally, too. This is the most important thing. Victories are important, but when you’re not fit and when you’re injured, it’s bad. So I think I’m going to recover quite fast after that loss.
“I’m going back to Switzerland quickly and I’m going to prepare for London, because London is the great final of the year.
“I feel good. I’m playing well,” added the Basel native. “It was not a bad match [against Monfils]. I’m happy with my performance. Clearly with a victory I would have had big chances of winning the tournament. This is not the case, so now I have to look at the future. I’m going to prepare for London.”
It’s time for us to prepare, too. Is everyone excited or is it one big WTF to you?