What is the Paris Masters in tennis?

The Paris Masters held in Bercy is the most elite indoor hard court tournament of professional tennis. A part of the ATP 1000 Masters series, the initial years of the Paris Open were played at the Palais Omni Sports of Paris-Bercy, now known as the AccorHotels Arena. The colors of the courts are inspired by Rolex. The playing area of the court will be a “Rolex green color” and the outer portion will be gray.

The initial editions of the tournament were dominated by Tom Okker and Brian Gottfried who won the title twice. The Paris Open had frequent alterations in its turf and often shifted between carpet and hard surface.

In 1985, the officials realized the potential of the Paris Masters that was destined to be a tournament of utmost importance on the circuit. Thereby, on a grander stage the Paris Open was held the following year, attracting a record crowd of 82,117 in seven days. Boris Becker won that title and would go on to win 3 titles of the 5 finals that he reached.

The indoor event in Paris would go on to be a part of the Grand Prix Super Series. The tournament’s future director, Guy Forget, was the first Frenchman to win the event in 1991 where he beat Pete Sampras in 5 gruelling sets. The tournament followed a best-of-fove sets format till 2006. Starting from 2007, all matches were played in the best-of-three sets format. Each set is a tiebreak set. Since the tournament is the last major tournament before the year-ending championships, players eye for their best performance to garner as many ranking points as possible to increase their chances of qualification for the ATP Finals.

A total of 56 players are a part of the singles draw. 28 players in the qualifying draw also eye for a spot in the main draw. The qualifying draw is in the week before the main draw is played. The doubles draw features 24 pairs that make up the main draw.As of 2023, the prize money the event has to offer is €5,779,335.

When the ATP underwent its rebranding in 2009, from a Super 9 event it became a part of the Masters 1000 event. It also became the only Masters event to be played indoors. In 2011, the courts of the Paris event were slowed down. Ilie Nastase, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the only players to have won both the major events in Paris – Paris Masters and Roland Garros. Out of these four players only Novak Djokovic has defended his title from 2013-15. In doubles, only Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Rios have won both the Parisian events.

Novak Djokovic holds the record for the most singles titles at the Paris Masters. The Serbian has won the title six times. While Paul Harrhuis has been a part of six doubles finals, it is the Bryan brothers – Mike and Bob, who have won the event most times (four titles).

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