A lot of action gets underway on the second day of the final Masters 1000 event of the year. With many cancelled events due to the pandemic, the Paris field is one of the strongest that it has been in years. Crazy things have happened in recent years in Paris, so it should be an exciting and potentially unpredictable tournament as the season nears its end. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our prediction for every match on the schedule, including Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs Carlos Alcaraz, Mikael Ymer vs Karen Khachanov and Novak Djokovic vs Marton Fucsovics.
ATP Paris Day 2 Predictions
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Gianluca Mager
Head-to-head: First meeting
This match should be pretty straightforward. Auger-Aliassime has proven himself as a top player whose game is well suited for quick indoor hard courts. Mager is mostly a clay courter who has not had his best season in 2021. Neither player has much experience in Paris, both entering the tournament for the first time last season. Auger-Aliassime lost in the first round while Mager lost in the second round of qualifying. Auger-Aliassime is looking to build on a strong summer where he reached the Cincinnati quarterfinal and US Open semifinal. Mager will have some momentum after qualifying, but he struggled, being forced to play three sets in both qualifying matches. The young Canadian is both the better player and is more suited for the surface. Auger-Aliassime will win easily.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Filip Krajinovic vs Reilly Opelka
Head-to-head: First meeting
Opelka will be pleased to be playing in another Masters event. The American has an 11-6 record in Masters 1000s this year which account for more than half of his 20 wins. Krajinovic is in a tough run of form in the summer/fall hard court season. He has failed to win a match in 5 of his last 7 tournaments, all on hard courts. The 2017 finalist has found magic here in Paris before, but has failed to get past the first round in his two other appearances. Opelka has not been in great form either, losing 4 of his last 5 matches. Opelka has shown to be a big-match player, making his lone final of 2021 in the Cincinnati Masters and his most recent strong result a fourth round appearance at the US Open. Opelka’s form has been strange, but big servers have an advantage on quick indoor hard courts. Opelka’s serve will make him hard to beat, and Krajinovic simply doesn’t have enough weapons to win the match.
Prediction: Opelka in 2
Lloyd Harris vs Alex de Minaur
On paper, this match looks like a complete toss-up. Both players play best on hard courts and they are right next to each other in the current ATP rankings. They have taken two wildly different roads to get there, finishing 23rd and 87th in last year’s final rankings. Harris has been one of the most improved players in the ATP this year, reaching his second career final in Doha and making the US Open quarterfinal. De Minaur has had a year to forget for the most part. He had two strong tournament on grass preceding Wimbledon, but outside of grass, he has not reached a single quarterfinal since his first tournament of the year in Antalya. This match will be close but Harris is looking like the better player. Though de Minaur is strong on grass courts, Harris can take advantage of the indoor hard court speed. He can neutralize the Australian’s strong defense by going for big groundstrokes and hitting through him. Harris will do enough and get past a de Minaur who has not looked sharp of late.
Prediction: Harris in 3
Marin Cilic vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: 1-0 Davidovich Fokina
This may be the most exciting match of the day. Cilic has found a great run of form after seeming to be near the end of his career. Davidovich Fokina has an exciting game and while still needing to be a bit more polished and consistent, can play with anyone on a given day. Cilic is in the midst of a great run of back-to-back finals including the title last week in St. Petersburg. Davidovich Fokina is strong on hard court though it is not his favorite surface. The Spaniard has had decent results the last few months, though he has struggled to beat top players. He did beat Cilic on a hard court last year in their lone meeting, but Cilic seems like a completely different player. Cilic will be the favorite, though exhaustion may play a factor after two straight finals without a week off. However, his big serve will help him on the quick indoor courts and make the match less physical. Davidovich Fokina will have an opening to attach Cilic, but the Croatian has simply been too great recently and will get past Davidovic Fokina.
Prediction: Cilic in 3
Main Photo from Getty Images