Watching a home crowd boo their own player is only something you would see in France, but on this occasion I almost felt that Benoit Paire's attitude deserved it. Firstly I must say what a superb performance by the 22 year old, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who had played just one match on the ATP tour this year (l. to Florian Mayer in Metz). After quickly falling 0-2 down and looking like a rabbit in the headlights, the young Frenchman produced a performance beyond his years, displaying real variety and craft as he picked off Paire showing superb cool that his much higher ranked and more experienced opponent failed to do.
It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and criticise Paire, but after a performance like that, he cannot defend himself. If I behaved like Paire did in my professional career, I would be fired. The crowd did get on his back very early, but he should have shown his professionalism and rose above it. The ending was frankly embarrassing and Herbert deserved his win and now gets Novak Djokovic in tomorrow's late night match. It will be a great experience for Herbert, but Djokovic should come through in two sets.
In the other second round matches to be played out tomorrow, I think Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be tested by Kei Nishikori more so than their recent match in Shanghai, but I would back Tsonga to prevail. Like Tsonga, I think Richard Gasquet will lose a set to Fernando Verdasco, but come through. If Gasquet and Tsonga win, they will meet in the third round and it is highly likely that the winner of that titanic clash will confirm their spot at the World Tour Finals next week. Finally, Jerzy Janowicz will make his return to Paris and I think he will take out the qualifier, Santiago Giraldo in straight sets.