‘We are disappointed and saddened’ – Paris Masters chief criticises players for skipping tournament

Tournament director Guy Forget says he is ‘disappointed and saddened’ that so many players have withdrawn from the Paris Masters.

Defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic decided not to play as the unique rankings system this year prevented him from gaining any rankings points.

World number three and reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem also withdrew after he suffered painful blistering last week in Vienna.

Other players who removed themselves from the draw are Gael Monfils, Fernando Verdasco, and Denis Shapovalov, who lost in the final last year to Djokovic.

And, without naming anyone specific, Forget says he is unhappy that so many players are missing.

“[We are] a little disappointed and saddened that some could have come and given themselves a chance to perform here,” Forget said.

“There are 1,000 points for the winner. This is one of the nine biggest tournaments in the world after the Grand Slams.

“So why deprive themselves when for some, they went several months without hitting the ball?”

Initial plans allowed for a limited number of fans to be admitted to the venue for the Paris Masters afternoon sessions, but a new national lockdown in France has seen it move to entirely behind closed doors.

For Forget, though, it is important to focus on the positives.

“Behind closed doors, we’re certainly a little disappointed, but the tournament will take place, that’s the positive point.”

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