ATP Paris Masters Day 1 Predictions Including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Marin Cilic

Pablo Carreno Busta in action ahead of the ATP Paris Masters

There should be plenty of entertaining tennis for the fans on day one at the Paris Masters, the final tournament of the regular ATP season. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Ugo Humbert vs Casper Ruud and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Karen Khachanov. But who will book their place in the second round?

ATP Paris Masters Day One Predictions

Marton Fucsovics vs Borna Coric

Head-to-head: Coric 2-0 Fucsovics

Borna Coric arrives at the Paris Masters in good form after reaching the final in St Petersburg and the second round at the Vienna Open, where he was perhaps unlucky to lose to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Marton Fucsovics, in contrast, has played little tennis since reaching the fourth round at the French Open, with his only appearance coming at the Cologne Indoors where he lost in the first round, winning just three games.

But he has already won two matches to come through the qualifying in Paris. He should be feeling confident as a result, with his three-set win over Vasek Pospisil which secured his place in the main draw particularly impressive. But he has lost both of his previous meetings with Coric and the Croatian is typically at his best indoors. Fucsovics is a good enough player to keep this close, but Coric’s excellent court coverage and accuracy from the baseline should give him the decisive edge.

Prediction: Coric in 3
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Albert Ramos Vinolas vs Marcos Giron

Head-to-head: first meeting

Albert Ramos Vinolas has been struggling of late, with the Spaniard yet to win back-to-back matches since the season resumed. Whilst he has faced some tough draws, not least at the US Open where he came up against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round, he has also suffered some surprising defeats, including at the European Open in Antwerp where he was beaten in straight-sets by Zizou Bergs, then ranked 529th in the world.

That does not inspire great confidence in his chances this week. Particularly because his first-round opponent Marcos Giron has been playing well lately, reaching the quarterfinals in Antwerp before coming through the qualifying in Bercy. His game is fairly limited, but he does not want for fighting spirit and typically gives little away from the baseline. And, whilst at his best this would be a match Ramos Vinolas would expect to win, he has not been at his best for some time.

Prediction: Giron in 3
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Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Head-to-head: Basilashvili 2-2 Struff

After playing some excellent tennis in New York, Struff has lost his way, with the German having won just two matches since losing to Djokovic in the third round at the US Open. That is an undeniably disappointing return for a player of his considerable talents, although it is not entirely out of keeping with the pattern of his career. But his performance last time out in Vienna did perhaps warrant more reward as he was narrowly beaten by Tsitsipas.

In Nikoloz Basilashvili he faces another player searching for wins. The Georgian, who is currently under the cloud of legal proceedings caused by a charge of domestic abuse against him, has not won a match since the Dubai Tennis Championships in February, where he beat Ricardas Berankis in three sets in the first round. Unfortunately for Basilashvili, he then lost to none other than Struff, winning just one game. Another victory that one-sided would be a surprise, but expect Struff to advance.

Prediction: Struff in 2
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Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Marin Cilic

Head-to-head: Cilic 1-0 Auger-Aliassime

This is surely the match of the first round. Marin Cilic may be in the midst of a prolonged, perhaps terminal slump, but the Croatian is still one of the very few men in the game to have lifted a Grand Slam trophy and it is not for nothing that he has been ranked as high as world #3. Felix Auger-Aliassime, meanwhile, will surely have hopes that border on expectation of emulating Cilic’s achievement in winning the 2014 US Open.

Concerningly, the 20-year-old is still yet to win his first ATP title, despite having played in six finals, but that should not detract overmuch from his quality and there is no doubt that he is the favourite heading into this match. Cilic has seen his ranking slip outside the world’s top 40 and he has won only 13 matches this year. Auger-Aliassime, in contrast, has notched 23 victories. It would be a significant surprise if he did not claim his 24th at Cilic’s expense.

Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
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Pablo Carreno Busta vs Hugo Gaston

Head-to-head: first meeting

Hugo Gaston earned his ATP Paris Masters’ wildcard across the French capital at Roland Garros where he put together a thrilling run to the fourth round, which included a battling win over Stan Wawrinka in the round of 32. However, the young gun remains inexperienced at this level, with the three wins he scored at the French Open his only victories on the ATP Tour. And he faces a man in fine form in Pablo Carreno Busta, with the Spaniard having reached the semifinals at the US Open and the quarters at Roland Garros.

That said, he does not have a particularly impressive resume indoors and his last match ended in a one-sided defeat to Kevin Anderson at the Vienna Open. But the slow conditions in Bercy should suit his attritional style of tennis, whilst Gaston may find his drop shots less effective on the relatively high-bouncing courts at the Paris Masters than they were on the clay at Roland Garros. This may still be a close contest, but expect the more experienced Carreno Busta to come out on top.

Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3

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