Aljaz Bedene, Lukas Rosol Move To Paris Masters Main Draw
Adam Addicott, Tennis Atlantic
The tenth and final Masters tournament of 2015 will get underway on Monday at the BNP Paribas Masters Open, held at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. The tournament will be a golden opportunity for the lower ranked players to end their season on a high note as they prepare for their off-season.
24 players participated in the qualifying tournament for six places in the main draw. Leading the seeds was Great Britain’s Aljaz Bedene. Bedene is currently at a career ranking high of 48th in the world and has claimed three Challenger titles this year. In his opening match, Bedene faced French wild card Gregoire Barrere. The 21-year-old won his second Futures title in September, first since 2013. Despite there being almost 200 places between the two players, Barrere put up a spirited fight before losing 7-6 (2), 7-6( 2), to the Brit. The reward for Bedene was a mouthwatering clash with Jerzy Janowicz. Janowicz defeated Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in three sets in the first round (7-5, 3-6, 6-3).
It was at the Paris Masters where Janowicz had his breakthrough tournament where as a qualifier he defeated five top 20 players to reach the final of the 2012 tournament before losing to David Ferrer. The Polish player failed to reproduce his sensational run this year as Bedene defeated the 24-year-old 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-5. Janowicz had two chances in the final game of the match to force proceedings into a deciding tiebreak but failed to convert either as Bedene held his nerve to progress to the main draw.
Spanish 11th seed Marcel Granollers overcame a duo of French players to reach his sixth Paris Masters main draw. After dismissing wild card Quentin Halys in straight sets (6-4, 6-4), he set up a showdown against Kenny de Schepper. Schepper eased into the final round after second seed Donald Young retired early in the second set. Young was playing a day after his quarterfinal loss to Jack Sock at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. In the final clash Granollers edged past Schepper 6-4, 6-4 after an hour and 44 minutes. The Spaniard fended off three break points throughout the match and converted 2/11 break points.
Czech world No.69 Lukas Rosol caused an upset on his way into the main draw. The 30-year-old is yet to win a title this year and currently has a main draw win-loss this season of 19-29. Rosol started his qualifying campaign with a straightforward 6-3, 6-3, win against Moldova’s Radu Albot. In the final round he played 3rd seed Teymuraz Gabashvili, the Russian defeated Inigo Cervantes in straight sets in his first match. The Czech was forced to come from a set down to stun Gabashvili 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7). In the crucial tiebreak, Rosol squandered three match point opportunities before he was successful with his fourth.
Pablo Carreno Busta dropped 11 games in two matches during his qualifying campaign. During his first match, the world No.70 recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the second set to defeat 35-year-old German, Michael Berrer, in straight sets (6-2, 7-5). Carreno Busta avoided a final clash with Argentine 4th seed Federico Delbonis after he suffered a tough three-set loss to America’s Rajeev Ram. Earlier this year Ram claimed his second ATP title in July at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport. After a tight opening set, the 31-year-old was blown away by Carreno busta ,6-4, 6-0, in just 58 minutes. This year the 24-year-old Spaniard has won two Challenger titles in Poznan and Perugia.
Out of the five home players participating in the draw, only one managed to grab back-to-back wins. Edouard Roger-Vasselin staged a epic comeback to upset Ukrainian 8th seed Sergiy Stakhovsky in his first match. The Frenchman trailed 4-6, 0-3, before clawing his way back in the second set on route to grabbing the seemingly unlikely victory (4-6, 6-4, 6-3). The next test for Roger-Vasselin was Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Struff knocked out 5th seed Robin Haase in his first match. After losing a close first set tiebreak, the world No.150 won 12 out of 15 games to win 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1. The 31-year-old has enjoyed greater success on the doubles tour this year by winning three ATP titles.
Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic completes the line-up of qualifiers. Lajovic, who was unseeded in the qualifying draw, defeated 12th seed Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round – 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-2. The win was sweet revenge for the Serbian after he suffered a straight sets loss to the Spanish player in their previous meeting at the 2013 Buenos Aires Open. In his final qualifying match he faces France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Mathieu was originally awarded a wildcard into the main draw but refused. The Frenchman refused because he was afraid of compromising his place in the Australian Open next year. If he lost in the first round, he would of got zero points and lose 10 points. In contrast, if he played in the qualifying rounds, a win would give him 16 points which would cement his place in the main draw of the Australian Open.
The Frenchman grabbed the 16 points after beating 6th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Mathieu’s run was swiftly ended in the final round by Lajovic after the Serbian took the match 6-3, 6-3 to move into the main draw. The 25-year-old has so far only won one main draw match in a Masters tournament, which was in the first round of the 2014 Miami Masters.
The main draw matches
(Q) Edouard Roger-Vasselin – Ivo Karlovic ~ Karlovic has played Roger-Vasselin three times before, winning two of them. Their last meeting was at the 2013 Hall of Fame Championships where the Frenchman won in straight sets.
(Q) Lukas Rosol – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ~ This is the third meeting between the two players this year. Garcia-Lopez has won both of them in straight sets.
(Q) – Pablo Carreno-Busta – Grigor Dimitrov – Dimitrov has won their two previous encounters in straight sets. Their last meeting was in the first round of the 2014 Madrid Masters where the Bulgarian won 6-2, 6-4.
(Q) Marcel Granollers – (Q) Aljaz Bedene ~ This will be their second meeting. Last year in the first round of the Argentina Open, Granollers won in three sets.
(Q) Dusan Lajovic – (WC) Nicolas Mahut ~ first meeting