Bercy, the final ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, typically starts with a too-much-of-a-good-thing vibe to it. On the one hand, it comes at the tail end of an 11-month season. With a long holiday around the corner, it’s easy for a player who falls behind here to call it a day, and a year. On the other hand, the tournament comes just before an even more prestigious end-of-season event, a Chunnel’s ride away in London. Normally, a couple of players come to Paris fighting for a place in the London draw, but even that isn’t true this time. All eight spots at the World Tour Finals are locked up.
In other words, there’s no reason to watch the BNP Paribas Masters except for the pleasure of watching tennis. Fortunately, if you’re going to do that, there aren’t many better places to do it than Paris, where the the sport is appreciated as in few other places. Here’s a look at what we might get to appreciate as the week unfolds. History says that surprises could be in store: Bercy champions over the last decade include David Nalbandian, Robin Soderling, and David Ferrer.