ATP Paris Masters Day 1 Predictions Including Karen Khachanov vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Karen Khachanov in action ahead of the ATP Paris Masters

Day one at the ATP Paris Masters in Bercy promises to feature plenty of entertaining tennis with 14 first-round matches on the slate in the French capital. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Marin Cilic and Ugo Humbert vs Casper Ruud. But who will reach the second round?

ATP Paris Masters Day One Predictions

Hubert Hurkacz vs Radu Albot

Head-to-head: Albot 1-0 Hurkacz

One suspects that Hubert Hurkacz may be glad to see the back of the 2020 season. Although he has shown some signs of life of late, it has been a disappointing year for the big-hitting Pole, who has failed to make good on the gains he made in 2019. But he may feel confident about his chances up against Radu Albot, who was handed a place in the main draw at the ATP Paris Masters as a lucky loser after losing to Norbert Gombos in the final round of qualifying.

Albot is a dependable performer, although like Hurkacz this has not been his best year, but he lacks power. He is able to compensate for that with excellent court coverage and consistency from the baseline, but that may prove difficult against a player with Hurkacz’s power on the slow indoor hard courts in Bercy. If Hurkacz is able to temper his aggression with accuracy, expect him to hit through Albot and into the second round.

Prediction: Hurkacz in 2
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Jordan Thompson vs Federico Delbonis

Head-to-head: Thompson 1-0 Delbonis

Jordan Thompson is another player who is struggling to find his best tennis. The Australian, who has won only nine of the 20 matches he has played so far this season, has been on the receiving end of some heavy defeats of late. Federico Delbonis also arrived in Paris in poor form, but the Argentine appears to have rebuilt some confidence by coming through the qualifying in Bercy, beating Andrej Martin and Yannick Hanfmann. And with the slow conditions at the ATP Paris Masters giving him ample time to wind up his powerful groundstrokes, with his forehand a particularly dangerous weapon, expect him to overwhelm Thompson.

Prediction: Delbonis in 3
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Marco Cecchinato vs Norbert Gombos

Head-to-head: Cecchinato 1-0 Gombos

It has been a fine few weeks for Slovakia’s Gombos, who impressed in reaching the third round at the French Open, an effort he has backed up by coming through the qualifying at the Vienna Open and the Paris Masters. Marco Cecchinato, meanwhile, appears to have found some form recently after a lengthy period in the wilderness. The Italian reached the third round at the French Open as a qualifier before making the final at the inaugural Sardinia Open.

However, he has found wins on hard courts hard to come by throughout his career. Although his victories over Jason Jung and Federico Coria were impressive, Cecchinato’s lengthy swings, particularly on the backhand side, can leave him vulnerable to being rushed even on a relatively slow hard court. The hard-hitting Gombos would do well to look to exploit that weakness in his opponent’s game. If he can, expect him to improve on his showing at the Vienna Open by reaching the second round.

Prediction: Gombos in 3
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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Karen Khachanov

Head-to-head: first meeting

Karen Khachanov will surely be disappointed by his failure to really break through into the highest echelons of the sport since beating Novak Djokovic to triumph at the ATP Paris Masters in 2018. The Russian did enjoy a brief stint inside the world’s top ten, but he has since slipped back outside that elite number and currently finds himself ranked 19th in the world. He certainly looks a long way off fashioning another title winning run in Bercy.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in contrast, has made impressive strides of late. Unlike many of his countrymen, the 21-year-old appears to be more at home on hard courts than the clay and he has put together a series of impressive results, reaching the fourth round at the US Open before making the semifinals at the Cologne Indoors and the quarterfinals at the Cologne Championships. However, he can be outhit by the more powerful players in the men’s game and Khachanov does not want for power.

Prediction: Khachanov in 3

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