The French System
Rafael Nadal finally beat Djokovic in a rain delayed Final in Rome early this morning. He is still the man to beat in Roland Garros, which begins on Sunday. The men have one more warm-up tournament in Nice this week and if you wanted to you could have entered it. The French system is the best in the world. Everybody gets a ranking in France at a Young age and you keep it for life but it gets upgraded once a year. It is broken down into 4 Sections (or Series). It's very complicated, using needleless integers, but I'll try to explain.
4th series – 6 different ranking from 30/5 to 30
3rd series – 6 different rankings from 15/5 to 15
2nd series – 7 different rankings from 0 to -30
1st series – The top 30 players in France
In order to be called a tennis club in France you must have at least one money tournament a year. Therefore, there are hundreds and hundreds of small tourneys in France that kids start playing at a young age. The juniors get rackets and bags as prizes and the adults get real cash money. The beauty of it is it's a progressive draw, so you are supposed to win your first match because you are pitted against a player ranked lower then you. The tournament can last up to three weeks as your grandfather, plays your uncle in the first round, then he plays your younger brother and so on till you get to the last weekend when the good players show up.
This is good for everyone involved. The lesser players get to feel like they are in a big tournament. The better players only play a few matches. The younger players get invaluable match experience and then maybe the last 8-16 or so players get paid depending on how big the tournament is. The prize money comes from the entry fees. In the USA players are “one and done” and if they lose, they start over the next tourney and it's difficult to get your confidence up. This is also great for the better players who need to support themselves on the way up.
Everybody is happy, as the Club members fight over the players to see who is going to have the top players stay at their house. After the tournament there is a ceremony and they all come out and have a party. It's a really big deal, great experience. So if you guys want, just go over to Roland Garros and ask for your ranking. They give you a tentative one for 5-10 matches till you get your permanent ranking, but you could be in next year's tournament in Nice and play David Ferrer in the Finals, the problem is you might have to win 15-20 matches to do so.
Speaking of David Ferrer, he is our Dark Horse pick to win the French Open this year. We will be back later in the week to give you our Preview of Roland Garros so you can call up America’s Bookie and make some money off of all my years of hard work.
- Fognini, Monfils advance in France
- Bartoli ousted in Strasbourg
- Troicki wins; Davydenko exits Duesseldorf
- Rain washes out Day 2 in Brussels
- At the Net: The ‘Big Three’ assembles in Paris
- Seppi, Hewitt exit Nice
- Nieminen advances at Power Horse Cup
- Rain wins Day 1 in Strasbourg
- Nadal captures 7th Rome title in rout of Federer
- Berankis knocks off Istomin in Nice opener