There have been upsets galore as we approach Round of 16 action on Day 4 of the ATP Paris Masters. Will the trend continue or will normal service resume on Thursday? World No. 1 Novak Djokovic appears to have a clear path for the year-end No. 1 ranking but will need to be wary of a man who has forged a career-best year on tour. We predict all eight matches, with four of those in a separate article. But who will advance?
ATP Paris Masters Day 4 Predictions
Andrey Rublev vs Botic van de Zandschulp
Head-to-head: Rublev 1-1 van de Zandschulp
Burdened by the objective of qualifying for the ATP Finals, Rublev was reduced to a puddle of nerves in the Shanghai final which he lost in three nail-biting sets. But since securing his spot in Turin, he’s been playing with a lot more regulation (aside from bursting his knee open in Vienna out of frustration). He produced a masterful display on serve to swat aside Yoshihito Nishoka in his opener on Tuesday. The Russian tallied 12 aces and did not drop his serve all afternoon. Botic van de Zandschulp, for his part, stunned Tommy Paul for a second time this season to record back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour for the first time since April. Clearly, the Dutchman finds comfort under the roof, but not when the opponent across the net possesses overwhelming power with every swing.
Prediction: Rublev in 2
Grigor Dimitrov vs Alexander Bublik
Head-to-head: Bublik 3-2 Dimitrov
It didn’t take long for Grigor Dimitrov to earn sweet revenge over Daniil Medvedev and snap a three-match losing streak against the World No. 3. A week ago, he was erratic with his ground game and nearly repeated the same mistake. He let Medvedev off the hook despite leading 5-2 in the final set and having a look at four match points. But it was only momentarily as he restored his composure to win the third set in a tiebreak. He finished the match planting 48 winners which is an astonishing achievement against the most relentless counterpunchers in the sport.
Alexander Bublik, meanwhile, has found form again. He’s been electric this week, ousting Frances Tiafoe and Nicolas Jarry in straight sets. After winning in Antwerp, he took an early defeat in Basel and gave his bones a well-earned rest. He’s reaping the reward. It’s not been pretty but tactically, he’s been very smart. This match is unlikely to be quite as intense or physically demanding for Dimitrov. With that said, fatigue is not going to hamper the Bulgarian after his near three-hour marathon against Medvedev.
Prediction: Dimitrov in 3
Karen Khachanov vs Roman Safiullin
Head-to-head: Khachanov 1-0 Safiullin
Roman Safiullin authored one of the upsets of the tournament, handing Carlos Alcaraz his earliest defeat at an ATP tournament in 2023. But does he possess the tenacity to keep this run going? He has tallied four wins in Paris, right from qualifying, and is one win away from the quarterfinals. The last time he played Karen Khachanov was just a week ago on an indoor setting in Vienna and it was a close straight sets defeat. Khachanov had motored the first half of the season playing with pain. But since undergoing a lengthy treatment after Roland Garros, he managed to return to the winners’ podium in Zhuhai for the first time in five years. In Vienna, Khachanov’s power fazed Safiullin, but his unheralded compatriot is performing spectacularly this week, and there are a few signs his best tennis will give up on him after that colossal win on Tuesday.
Prediction: Safiullin in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Tallon Griekspoor
Head-to-head: Djokovic 2-0 Griekspoor
Novak Djokovic was recently proclaimed as the “master of the schedule” and judging by his seamless progress to the round of 16, it is indisputable. After spending the past one and half months back home recuperating, he was in full flight in his opening match in Bercy, showing he never missed a beat. He defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry with supreme ease. Djokovic has never lost before the quarterfinal stage at the Paris Masters in 11 years. Even against the backdrop of his best results on tour in 2023, the high-flying Tallon Griekspoor is unlikely to pose much of a threat.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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