18/10/11 - 16:01
The fourth Paris Open takes place from October 30th – November 5th. Prize money rises to US $1,302,500 making it the most richly endowed tournament after the US Open, Wimbledon and Roland-Garros. The singles winner takes home 1,854,000 francs. Participation also reaches a record level, with a cut-off at n°26. Twenty three of the top twenty six players in the world are present. The qualifying tournament at Aquaboulevard Forest Hill permits Wally Masur, Jonas Svensson, Milan Srejber and Ronald Agenor to join the final draw. Wild cards are given to three French players: Henri Leconte, Guy Forget and Fabrice Santoro.
The n°1 seed Boris Becker has two close calls – one in the second round against Guy Forget, and the other in the quarterfinal against Wally Masur triumphing on both occasions only in the tie-break of the third set. He eliminates John McEnroe in the semifinal and the n°2 seed Stefan Edberg in the final (6-4 6-3 6-3). The match lasts just two hours.
The attendance record (82,117 in 1986) is largely surpassed this year, reaching 91,149. Announced a few months earlier at the US Open, the creation of the ATP Tour as the replacement for the Grand Prix poses no threat to the Paris Open’s place on the international tennis calendar.
On the contrary, it is among the eleven Championship Series tournaments with prize money of at least US $750,000 and assured of the participation of at least six of the top ten players in the world. The Paris Open is predicted to become the jewel in the new ATP Tour’s crown, with a record US $2,000,000 in prize money.