Day 3 at the ATP Masters in Paris sees World #1 Novak Djokovic making his first appearance at an ATP event since winning a fourth US Open back in September alongside a mouth-watering clash between Stefanos Tsitsipas and last week’s Basel champion, Felix Auger-Aliassime.
ATP Paris Day 3 Predictions
Tommy Paul vs Botic Van De Zandschulp
Head-to-head: Van De Zandschulp 1-0
Tommy Paul has had an amazing year so far which has seen him rise to the world #12 due to strong performances at both the Australian Open and Canadian Masters, where he reached the semifinals. Unfortunately for the American, it’s been a hard last two months since making the second week at the US Open, losing an incredible 8 matches in the span of 14 with five in a row at one point. Funnily enough, during that loss streak, one of his losses was indeed to his opponent here, Botic Van De Zandschulp. Could the same thing happen here, it’s more than possible, the Dutchman breezed through qualifying and backed it up with an easy win against world #25 Mannarino in the first round. The 28 year old’s game seems to work on an indoor court particularly aided by his big serve. A lot depends on which Paul shows up but I give the edge to the lower ranked man.
Prediction: Van De Zandschulp in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 5-3
Where to start with this one? Before last week the pair of them were having horrible last six months to say the very least. The Canadian hadn’t won back-to-back matches since March whilst the Greek has just the one title this year and was constantly losing to players he would beat the past few years. A week on and somehow Auger-Aliassime defended his title in Basel finding form seemingly out of nowhere. It may be asking a lot of the 23 year old to back up last week here but indoors he’s proven in the past just how good he can be with the forehand and especially serve being a lot for even the very best in the world to deal with. Add to that the weakest part of Tsitsipas’ game is indeed his return of serve and that he’s not in very good form, there’s a good chance for the Canadian to get one back in the head-to-head here.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Etcheverry
Head-to-head: Djokovic 1-0
Since winning the US Open back in September we’ve seen Novak Djokovic more at concerts, football awards and rugby matches than we have on tennis courts. The thing is, it’s Novak Djokovic and there’s a reason he’s a a six time champion here in Paris so it’s doubtful over six weeks off will have any impact in his chances of yet another title here. On the other side of the net his opponent isn’t very well known for his hardcourt game, let alone indoors, his defensive style of tracking balls down and making you play an extra shot works on his preferred surface, clay, but will heavily suffer here, especially with the low bounce these courts have this year. If the World #1 is rusty perhaps a set will be tight but it’s hard to see the 24 year old managing to get a set here unless the Serb puts in a shocker.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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