Round 2 of the ATP Paris Masters in Bercy continues to roll and brings the return of Rafael Nadal. The draw is still very strong, although Round 1 saw the departure of a few heavweights, including Jannik Sinner and Borna Coric. The early exit of Andy Murray at the hands of wild card crowd favorite Gilles Simon was also an unexpected twist, while Novak Djokovic marched on past the tricky Maxime Cressy. Certainly there will be some more twists and turns, but which rankings will hold? We make our calls below, including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Mikael Ymer
ATP Paris Day 3 Predictions
Lorenzo Musetti vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-head: Basilashvili 1-0
Basilashvili has played badly all season, and Musetti is at his peak for the year. That’s about all anyone needs to know. The Italian recently came through Matteo Berrettini for a title in Naples, and sits at his career-high of #23. Basilashvili has finally dropped out of the top 100 after consistent struggles, and although he owns the single H2H, it was on grass. Musetti is thought of as a clay courter, but he is above .500 on hard court this year, and just came through Marin Cilic in Round 1, after winning the aforementioned hard court title. Basilashvili is only at 20% for hard courts on the season, and drew a qualifier.
Prediction: Musetti in 2
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Mikael Ymer
Head-to-head: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Felix Auger-Aliassime is officially on fire. He has won three tournaments in a row, and although it’s a long shot to make it a fourth because of the strength of this draw, he should at least make a deep run. He has 53 wins for the season, and although he may feel some pressure to keep the current win streak going, he is also well past the pressure with which he began the season, which related to his then-persistent failures in finals. He has flipped that narrative, and surely feels very comfortable in Paris. Now, Mikael Ymer is playing about as well as he ever has, and that could complicate things here; but while I’m feeling a slight nudge to call this in three, Auger-Aliassime’s level is so high I can’t do it.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Cameron Norrie vs Corentin Moutet
Head-to-head: 1-0 Norrie
Cameron Norrie looked better earlier in the season, and has dipped the last couple months. But he still has a very high level, which he demonstrated last round in a straight sets win over Miomir Kecmanovic, and is playing an opponent who has spent a fair amount of time on the Challenger tour this year. Moutet is actually at his career-high of #64, and although he hasn’t really inspired in his deep run inside the top 100, he did just come through Borna Coric in Round 1. Moutet can be tricky, but I’m going to stick with the big spread in ranking and call this one in two.
Prediction: Norrie in 2
Rafael Nadal vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: 1-0 Nadal
Tommy Paul is the unlucky draw who gets Nadal in his first action since the US Open (and an emotional final doubles match with Roger Federer). Paul hasn’t looked very good since Montreal, but then again Nadal hasn’t even been on court. However, the Spaniard should be feeling good from all the rest, and doesn’t seem to need much warmup time before he’s dominating again. He should take this, and I want to call it in two, but Tommy Paul has a win over Carlos Alcaraz this year. He may steal a set as Nadal tunes up.
Prediction: Nadal in 3
Main Photo from Getty.