PARIS – The Paris Masters received underway at a near-empty Bercy Enviornment on Monday amid France’s second coronavirus lockdown, with former champion Karen Khachanov being knocked out within the first spherical.
Russian Khachanov was overwhelmed 6-Three, 2-6, 6-2 by Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Event organisers had anticipated to welcome 1,000 followers a day to the occasion, however as a substitute needed to refund the tickets when French President Emmanuel Macron introduced France would reenter lockdown final week.
The prize cash on supply has been reduce by greater than two million euros ($2.33 million) from final 12 months, when Novak Djokovic received the title.
In entrance of 15,000 vacant seats, the hum of the air con was usually the loudest noise on the primary court docket, with even the gamers solely allowed to have two members of their often giant entourage in attendance.
Khachanov, the one former winner within the draw with Djokovic absent, bowed out tamely to carry a disappointing season to a detailed, along with his match moved to a smaller court docket to keep away from play slipping into the early hours of Tuesday.
Croatian Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, claimed a powerful win over Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime, edging by way of to the second spherical 6-Zero, Three-6, 6-Three.
“I used to be not discovering my greatest type on this season, final season, as properly, evaluating to (the) previous few years earlier than that,” mentioned Cilic, who has dropped to 43rd on the earth rankings.
“I’d say this stage of tennis is certainly good for my confidence. I felt that the match has been (a) actually excessive stage.”
Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez arrange a second-round conflict with prime seed Rafael Nadal — again in Paris simply weeks after lifting a record-extending 13th French Open title — by beating Serbian Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (13/11), 6-1.
The 39-year-old mentioned gamers want to just accept that the tour might not return to regular for months but, with the second virus wave sweeping throughout Europe.
“We have now to concentrate on the scenario that the world resides and the way everyone seems to be dealing with these difficult occasions world wide,” Lopez mentioned.
“For now I do not see any hope on prize cash. I believe it is going to keep the identical for some time.”
Pablo Carreno Busta was one other Spaniard to progress, seeing off residence wildcard Hugo Gaston 6-Three, 6-2.
Carreno Busta is bidding to complete a superb season personally on a excessive, having additionally reached the US Open semi-finals and Roland Garros final eight.
However he mentioned it had been a tricky 12 months on the whole, after the Tour shut down for 5 months between March and August as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
“In all probability, it is probably the most troublesome season in my profession,” mentioned the world quantity 15.
“I do know that we’re fortunate that we are able to proceed enjoying, but additionally it isn’t straightforward to be 100 p.c each week on this scenario.”
Frenchman Ugo Humbert beat in-form Norwegian Casper Ruud in three units and can face second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday, whereas there have been additionally wins for US Open quarter-finalist Alex de Minaur and Croatian 15th seed Borna Coric.