The final ATP Masters event of the year is taking place in Paris. Reverting to the week-long format basically guarantees some very explosive first rounds, with Ben Shelton taking on Davidovich Fokina and Dimitrov battling Musetti early doors. We’ve looked to predict some of these matches on the first day of action.
ATP Paris Masters Day 1 Predictions
Karen Khachanov vs Max Purcell
Head-to-head: Khachanov 1-0 Purcell
If a player plays well enough, Karen Khachanov is often there for the taking. Khachanov won’t throw players too many surprises with his steady yet effective game so if they can find a high enough level, particularly in the shorter format of best of three, they have a good chance of winning.
Problem is Max Purcell has been a bit short on form recently. His disruptive game style is also unlikely to trump the mighty rally temperament of the Russian. Poor form and a bad match-up point to a smooth win for Khachanov.
Prediction: Khachanov in 2
<4h4>Alexandre Muller vs Roman Safiullin
Head-to-head: Safiullin 1-0 Muller
It was quite surprising that Roman Safiullin had to qualify for the main draw this week at #43 in the world but he proved to everybody he more than deserves to be here, tearing through Cazaux and Thompson. The Russian is terrifyingly powerful from the baseline and is channeling a lot of confidence at the moment. That combination could be a little too much for a player of Alexandre Muller’s calibre to handle.
Prediction: Safiullin in 2
Grigor Dimitrov vs Lorenzo Musetti
Head-to-head: Dimitrov 1-0 Musetti
6-3 6-4 sounds about right for this match-up indoors. Grigor Dimitrov went unbroken throughout his match with Lorenzo Musetti last week in Vienna as his underrated serve did too much damage to the Italian’s one-hander. Dimitrov just has a little too much pop on his first few shots of the rally indoors for Musetti to win this match-up at this stage of his career.
Prediction: Dimitrov in 3
Ben Shelton vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: First meeting
Ben Shelton is really starting to settle into his game. His serve statistically hits as one of the strongest on tour and he’s really developed his court craft and rally temperament as his experience on the ATP Tour has grown. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will likely fluctuate in level—enough for Shelton to capitalize on a few errant dropped service games.
Prediction: Shelton in 2
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