Federer ready to bid for first Bercy title

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 15:16 PM IST

Paris: Roger Federer arrived on the back of two successive tournament titles, with the world number two eager to bid for a hat-trick as top seed at the Paris Masters.

The Swiss legend has a first round bye and will play France`s world ranked number 28 Richard Gasquet, who edged compatriot Nicolas Mahut in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7) on Monday evening.

Before travelling from his hometown of Basel, Federer admitted that he needs to recover energy before taking to the court in the last event of the ATP season which features 18 of the world Top 20.

"I`m a bit worn-out, I`ve had a lot of matches," said the winner of a fourth Basel trophy. "I`m hoping my mind and body hold up. But I don`t play until Wednesday and there will be time to recover. I`m confident that my form will carry me through."

Victory in Switzerland only slightly closed a huge computer points gap on number one Rafael Nadal, who expressed his regret on Monday for missing the Paris tournament.

With Nadal set to finish the year as number one whether he hits another ball or not, Federer now trails by 4,115, with 1,000 on offer to the Bercy winner.

Nadal and his doctors are focusing on full fitness for the eight-man year-end event which begins on November 21 in London.

Nadal expects to resume training by the weekend as he recovers from the shoulder tendinitis which forced him to miss Paris.

"I`m gonna be practising soon. But I have to look how the tendinitis improves," he said.

"I have almost two weeks before London. I need practise before London a minimum of one week, so I am sure before next Sunday I`ll be practising."

Nadal has not played since mid-October when he lost in the third round in Shanghai to Jurgen Melzer. He felt the tendinitis during training last Friday and withdrew as a precaution.

"The doctor said that if I play here it can be worse. We`re at the end of the season, and I have a lot of matches on my shoulders.”

"I have to be careful, if I had an injury now it can be difficult to play London and to play well in the beginning of the season next year."
Nadal expects to resume training by the weekend as he recovers from the shoulder tendinitis which forced him to miss Paris.

"I`m gonna be practising soon. But I have to look how the tendinitis improves," he said.

"I have almost two weeks before London. I need practise before London a minimum of one week, so I am sure before next Sunday I`ll be practising."

Nadal has not played since mid-October when he lost in the third round in Shanghai to Jurgen Melzer. He felt the tendinitis during training last Friday and withdrew as a precaution.

"The doctor said that if I play here it can be worse. We`re at the end of the season, and I have a lot of matches on my shoulders.”

"I have to be careful, if I had an injury now it can be difficult to play London and to play well in the beginning of the season next year."

With none of the seeds on court due to byes, French players took the spotlight with 33-year-old Arnaud Clement defeating Spain`s Feliciano Lopez in a match featuring 52 aces, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.

General consensus is that the indoor courts are massively faster this year.

Bureau Report