Jean-François Caujolle, director of the BNP Paribas Masters, relies on the know-how of the French Tennis Federation staff, and works under the responsibility of Jean Gachassin, its President, and Gilbert Ysern, the Federation’s managing director.
The tournament referee is Rémy Azémar. He is assisted by 60 umpires and line judges who are led by Franck Sabatier, head-referee.
The ATP delegates two supervisors, Tom Barnes and Gerry Armstrong, whose roles are to oversee the entire sporting side of the tournament. They give advice on match programming, choice of umpires and the enforcement of the conduct’s code.
They are joined by six permanent circuit umpires selected by the ATP: Carlos Bernardes (BRA), Lars Graff (SWE), Mohamed Lahyani (SWE), Cédric Mourier (FRA), Fergus Murphy (IRL) and Roland Herfel (GER). A French chair umpire completes the team: Arnaud Gabas.
The Hawk-Eye at Bercy
The “Hawk-Eye”, the electronic tracking system used as an officiating tool, is on centre court and court n°1 at the BNP Paribas Masters.
Its use guarantees total equality for all singles players, no matter what the scheduling.
The players have the possibility to resort to the images when in doubt about a call. Thanks to giant screens, the verification process does not exceed ten seconds.
It works as follows:
• Each player has three chances per set to use the electronic system (a fourth chance is allowed in the case of a tie-break). The procedure is called a “challenge”.
• If the verification process proves the challenger to be right, and that consequently the point is given to him, he is able to keep his challenges.
• A challenge can only be requested at the end of a point or when a player stops playing.
• Unused challenges cannot be used in the following set.
• If, for whatever reason, the Hawk-Eye system is not working when a challenge has been requested, the original call from the chair or line umpire stands.
The Gerflor surface – called “Resin on wood” – is exactly the same as last year. Though it has been slightly slowed down this year – by just a few km/h – at the request of the players.
It resembles what is used at the tournaments in Basel or Valencia which are held before the BNP Paribas Masters, or like the surface at the tournament in London, where the eight top players in the world will meet for the ATP World Tour Finals, held shortly after the BNPPM.
The playing conditions on court n°1 are identical to centre court. This is because the skating rink in the Sonja-Henie room which houses court n°1 is thawed for the occasion in order to install an underlying layer similar to that of centre court.
Court n°2, used for doubles matches and practice, is installed in the Marcel-Cerdan room.
And finally, not far from the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, the Poliveau Gymnasium, located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, is used solely for practice.
The courts at the BNP Paribas Masters have the same aspect as last year, in other words, “Roland-Garros” green interior and violet-blue exterior.
On centre court, “LED” technology has been set around the court. These new-generation advertisement screens – only set up along the length of the court – give off excellent light and give excellent quality to the court colors. During matches, the rotation of messages from sponsors only takes place during change of sides.
There are forty-eight players in the singles draw and twenty-four teams in the doubles.
The draw is held on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 6:30 pm at Paris’ City Hall.
The forty-eight-player main draw consists of:
- 38 players directly accepted into the main draw by virtue of their ranking on September 26th, 2011 (41 days before the tournament).
- 1 special exempt.
- 6 qualifiers.
- 3 wild-cards (chosen by the tournament committee).
Seeding (16) is based on the Monday, October 31st ATP rankings.
All matches are best of three sets (tie-break in all sets), including the final.
The main draw of twenty-four teams is comprised of:
- 16 teams accepted directly into the draw based on the best singles or doubles rankings of each player on the date of Monday, October 24th, 2011.
- 6 teams complete the draw based on the on-site sign-up on Saturday, November 5th.
- 2 teams receiving wild-cards.
The 8 seeded teams are chosen based on the Monday, October 31st ATP rankings. Only the doubles ranking is used to determine the seeds. There is no doubles qualifying event. Since the 2006 tournament, each doubles match is played best of three sets with a tie-break at 6-6 in the first two sets and the application of “no ad” (when at deuce, the following point is decisive and the receiving team chooses which side to receive). The eventual third set is replaced by a “match tie-break”, with the winning team being the first to reach ten points, with a two-point lead.
The qualifying singles are played over two days for six spots into the main draw: Saturday, November 5th, and Sunday, November 6th on Court n°1 (room Sonja-Henie) and n°2 (room Marcel-Cerdan), both located within the POPB.
The qualifying draw includes twenty four players.
Twelve matches are scheduled on Saturday (from 10 am) and six on Sunday (from 11 am).
The 24-player qualifying draw is made up of:
- 20 direct acceptances (ATP rankings as of Monday, October 17th).
- 4 wild-cards.
All 12 seeded players are appointed according to the Monday, October 31st 2011 ATP rankings.
Approximately seven thousand Head ATP balls are used during the BNP Paribas Masters. They are used for all the Masters 1000, the ATP World Tour Finals, as well as for other ATP tournaments and Davis Cup events. These high-tech balls feature SMART OPTIKTM felt for a 19% greater visibility compare to traditional balls.