Well after the great tournament that was the Swiss Indoor Masters in Basel we head across the Swiss Border into France for the BNP Paribas Masters in Bercy, Paris. I'll be honest I've never been a huge fan of this tournament, I always see it as a warm up to the World Tour Finals. With the news Nadal has pulled out to concentrate on London it has thrown the draw somehwhat open, and with Djokovic also now a doubt it only makes picking a winner for the tournament even harder. My pre tournament pick was Juan Martin Del Potro, but after his loss to Marcel Granola Bar in Valencia he's withdrawn with an injury.
Historically Roger has never played well here, with his best performance being the Semi Finals last year where he lost to Monfils. This year Roger has what I'd say is an Ok draw, His Second round opponents are either Adrian Mannarino who he comfortably beat at Wimbledon or Russian Veteran and former Tim Henman nemesis – Dmitry Tursunov. Potential Round of 16 opponents for Roger are big serving South African Kevin Anderson or home favourite Richard Gasquet. In the Quarterfinals Roger could potentially face Gilles Simon or American Mardy Fish (if he's recovered from his hamstring injury). Then the predicted Semifinal match up for Roger is Andy Murray or Tomas Berdych. In the finals both Djokovic (if he plays) and Ferrer are being touted as likely candidates.
After watching him in Basel you can't not be optimistic for this tournament, but I don't think he will win here and I'm predicting a semi final berth again.
Prediction: Semi Finals
Tsonga lost early in Valencia, but he's playing to make the World Tour Finals here so I'm expecting a strong showing. I actually think he could win it.
Simon is my danger man in this event, I have a feeling he could meet Roger in the Quarters and that could be a close match. I think the surface may suit him, he hits the ball super flat, and seen as though Paris has been slowed a little to match London, then surely it will help his game.
Prediction: Quarter Finals
Monfils made the final here last year and I think he will probably make the Semi's this year. He likes the conditions and after his Quarter Final loss in Valencia it's not like he's over tennised.
Prediction: Semi Finals
My upset of the week: Julien Benneteau to beat Andy Roddick tomorrow.