Among the nine Masters 1000s, the Rolex Paris Masters is one of the tournaments that features the highest number of withdrawals and upsets during the tournament. In 2012, the Spaniard David Ferrer won his maiden Masters 1000 title beating Jerzy Janowicz in the final.
This year the event takes place from October 28th to November 4th, the week after the Swiss Indoors in Basel where Roger Federer leads the field. The Swiss will prioritize Basel and is likely to miss Paris. 'There is not much we can do', the Tournament Director Guy Forget explained in an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA.
'I'd wish Paris was before Basel, but that's how the schedule is and if Roger comes we would be very happy. And if he doesn't come, there will be more chances for other players to do well. He has not been coming to Paris for a while and fans expect him to finally make it because we are a Masters 1000 and we are twice bigger than Basel, we have a great venue and the courts are a little bit faster now and it would be a very big opportunity for him to do very well.
Because if he comes, he would be one of the favorites. And it's one of the tournaments he has some of the best chances to win, because he has played well in the past. We are positive. But it's up to him, we have no influence or power on that.
Roger will decide on the Rolex Paris Masters at the last minute. It depends on how he feels. If he doesn't come, we would like to know it as early as possible because the draw would be more balanced, but if he comes, we would be very happy to have him.' Last year Federer was on all the tournament advertisements and in the end he did not play.
That's why this year he was not included in the promotion of the event. Forget believes that playing Masters 1000s should be 100% mandatory: 'The Masters, we want to be together and it's good for the credibility of the game.
People know when you play Rome, Indian Wells, they are as strong as the other one because all the top guys are playing. It's like in Formula 1, every Grand Prix is very very important like the Masters 1000s. Imagine if people started asking themselves if one guy was racing last week and why he is not racing this week! In Masters 1000s some top guys are not playing, it affects the credibility of the event.
And we have been affected by that in the past at the Rolex Paris Masters. When we put the face of Rafa, Novak or Roger one month before the tournament to promote it in the streets or buses, we also do promotion on the radio and on the newspapers, and some people from France, not only in Paris but also in Bordeaux or Marseille, say, "All the top guys are in Paris, let's book a hotel room and buy tickets".
But when they come and they cannot see the people they saw on the advertising campaign - if they are injured or had surgery and so they cannot play we can understand, but if a player has been successful and he is not playing in Paris but he is playing the following week - people cannot understand.
They are like, 'This is false advertisement! It's like you pay tickets to attend a Rolling Stones concert and they are not there!'