I love tennis, and I wouldn't write for a tennis blog if I didn't love the sport and the characters that make it up. For some reason, the Paris Masters has never captured my imagination as a tennis fan, and it seems, although this is purely anecdotal, that it has never caught on with the larger tennis community. It is a full Masters event, yes, but it almost seems like an afterthought, to the players, to the tour, and to the fans. With the ATP World Tour Finals a week away, for the players on the bubble of the lucrative event, it matters, but for the top players, not so much. Roger Federer withdrew due to "nagging issues", but should be good one week from now at the World Tour Finals.
There are a few other minor issues why this event, in my mind, isn't that exciting. The venue is the Bercy Omnisport building, and while it's impressive, it gives off the vibe of a very nice college gym. The netting between the fans and the players makes it seem second-rate, and the lighting, court, and atmosphere just don't look premier. It's a far cry from the Caja Magica in Madrid, the Foro Italico in Rome, the Indian Wells grounds, or even Crandon Park in Miami. It just doesn't feel like a Masters 1000, and for the top players, the World Tour Finals looms too large to make this a huge event.
That being said, it does provide a nice preview of the World Tour Finals next week, and we will have a preview up tomorrow looking at the final rounds.