Nothing makes sense at the ATP Paris Masters, with Hubert Hurkacz, Daniil Medvedev, and Rafael Nadal exiting early in Round 2, after a quick Jannik Sinner exit in Round 1. Gilles Simon upsetting Taylor Fritz (after upsetting Andy Murray) also crashed the draw, as did Cameron Norrie’s loss to Corentin Moutet. Novak Djokovic continues to roll on, at least, giving the tournament some semblance of normalcy, but even then it was beginning to feel normal not to see him in draws. Could the seedings hold up to a blockbuster final featuring Djokovic vs Alcaraz? We make our calls below, including Casper Ruud vs Lorenzo Musetti.
ATP Paris Day 4 Predictions
Casper Ruud vs Lorenzo Musetti
Head-to-head: first meeting
Casper Ruud has not looked very good since the US Open, and indeed has dropped two spots from his high of #2 in the world. He much prefers clay, and that may be the reason for the decline, but he’s had a fine hard court year overall in 2022. But in the current skid, for wins in the Top 100 since the US Open, he has only Richard Gasquet to boast of, which is very uninspiring. Musetti followed up his title in Naples with a dud, dropping a first round match to Albert Ramos-Vinolas, although he’s back up again with wins over Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marin Cilic here in Paris. I have trouble picking against the #4 player in the world, and I can’t here, but this one has upset potential.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Corentin Moutet
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 1-0
Moutet has these weird runs from time to time. He had one in Adelaide early in the season, then another at the US Open; and here he is in Round 3, having come through Borna Coric and Cameron Norrie, though he hadn’t had a win inside the top 100 since the US Open. That really makes me want to root for him in the next round, but sadly the level of difficulty only gets much steeper. Stefanos Tsitsipas is an end boss, who has won nearly 70% of his matches on hard courts this year, while having played on the surface extensively (almost 50 matches). So I think Moutet’s run will stop here, although if the French wind is strong enough to push him past Tsitsipas, we might have to call him for the title. And for what it’s worth, although the H2H is on clay, these two did actually face off once on hard court, in a 2017 Challenger. Moutet won…
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Andrey Rublev vs Holger Rune
Head-to-head: first meeting
Rune has finally hit his stride, and he is playing as well now as he was playing badly earlier in the season. He has made three finals in a row, winning one, with wins over Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas included, which has taken him to his career-high of #18. And just last round he came past Hubert Hurkacz, demonstrating no letdown from his previous finals loss. Is that a good time or a bad time to face Rublev?The Russian will be looking for his 50th win of the season, and has three hard court titles this year, although he has his ATP Finals bid wrapped up, which gives a little less motivation. I don’t love the way he’s been playing recently, and Rune is on fire, so that could make things interesting, and I want to feel more comfortable calling this in Rublev’s favor than I do.
Prediction: Rublev in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Karen Khachanov
Head-to-head: Djokovic 7-1
Felix Auger-Aliassime is getting all the attention for being on a three-tournament winning streak, but Djokovic is on the same win streak—Astana, Tel Aviv, Wimbledon. (Ironically, his only loss during that span came against Auger-Aliassime at the Laver Cup.) He seems none the worse for wear for the incomplete season he was dealt this year, with as high-quality a win recently as Stefanos Tsitsipas. I don’t see anything changing here, though Khachanov can pull out a huge match from time to time. He looked good at the US Open, but subsequently lost to this very Djokovic in Astana. And then there’s that H2H…
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.