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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


The world class tennis action at this week’s Paris Masters 1000 Series is well underway and the entertainment comes thick and fast today, with ten male singles matches. There’s also a bonus for the real fans, who will be treated to a handful of world class men’s doubles games, which will be sprinkled in between the men’s singles matches throughout the day. There were a couple of big upsets yesterday when Russians, fourth seed Medvedev and eighth seed and former champion Khachanov, both crashed out at the first time of asking against veteran French qualifier Chardy and German Struff respectively.

The World number one and two, Djokovic and Nadal, are the star attractions today and they’ve both been handed an easy start against French hopes, Lucky Loser Moutet and veteran Mannarino. Beijing and Vienna winner, World number five Thiem from Austria, is ending the season on a much needed high. He’s won two tournaments in the last three weeks, twelve of his last thirteenth matches on hard courts and he will fancy his chances against former top ten star Raonic from Canada, whose career continues to be ravaged by way to many injuries and he’s only played seven hard court matches since Wimbledon, losing four.

Seventh seed Tsitsipas is ending the season on a positive note, having reached the semi-finals or better at his last three hard court tournaments. He lost to Thiem in the final in Beijing, Medvedev in the semi-finals at Shanghai and Federer in Basel at the semis stage last week. The young Greek. faces fellow NextGen star American Fritz today for the first time and if things go to form, he should win comfortably. However, he’s far from a dead cert coming straight from a long, hard gruelling summer and autumn hard court swing, when he played almost non-stop since Wimbledon and he will need to be at his sharpest today against the talented young American.

Ninth seed and veteran Bautista Agut has been handed a tough opener against young Aussie warrior De Minaur and the diminutive Sydney resident will hope for a repeat of his comprehensive 6-2 6-2 win at Shenzhen last month. New rising Italian star, tenth seed Berrettini, will try and continue his good hard court form today against veteran home hope Tsonga and Italian veteran and eleventh seed Fognini will continue his battle to qualify for the ATP Tour year-end finals today, against Stockholm winner, NextGen Canadian star Shapovalov. Shapovalov won their only previous encounter on hard courts in straight sets at the Canadian Masters back in 2018 and a repeat of that level of performance today should see the young Canadian through to the next round. Twelfth seed Goffin is a surprising favourite today against Bulgarian Dimitrov because, Goffin trails the head-to-head 10-1 and he lost the last four in a row between 2017 and 2018 on hard courts and clay.

French veteran Monfils, who is seeded unlucky thirteenth this week, faces compatriot Paire, in what has the potential to be one of the most entertaining matches of the day, between two of the most naturally talented, but infuriatingly unpredictable, pro tennis players in the world. Diminutive Argentine, Schwartzman, won’t get a better chance to reach a third round today, against the woefully out of form British number two Edmunds, who can’t buy a win at present. Giant American veteran, 6ft 10” Isner, faces the talented NextGen star from Chile, Garin today and the young Chilean star will hope for a repeat of his straight sets hard court win at this years Canadian Masters 1000 Series. Finally, veterans sixteenth seed Wawrinka and the unseeded Cilic meet for the fifteenth time today and Wawrinka looks like a good thing as he leads the head-to-head 12-2 and Cilic has been playing nowhere near his best this season due to injury.


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