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PREVIEW: 2023 ATP Tour – Paris Masters – Selected Round of 32 Matches

Damien Kayat previews Alexander Bublik vs Nicolas Jarry and Daniil Medvedev vs Grigor Dimitrov in selected round of 32 matches of the Paris Masters on the 31st of October and the 1st of November 2023.

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

Damien Kayat previews Alexander Bublik vs Nicolas Jarry and Daniil Medvedev vs Grigor Dimitrov in selected round of 32 matches of the Paris Masters on the 31st of October and the 1st of November 2023.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides

2023 ATP Tour
Masters 1000
Paris Masters
AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France (Indoor Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 32 Matches: 31st October – 1st November

31st October

Alexander Bublik 84/100 | Nicolas Jarry 94/100

Alexander Bublik is really the most infuriating player in men’s tennis. Oft-criticized for a somewhat lackadaisical approach, Bublik has the type of Jekyll and Hyde form that sports betters dread. He broke into the top 25 in the world courtesy of some brilliant grass-court results.

He won his first ATP 500 event in Halle before an eye-catching 4th round at Wimbledon. And he recently picked up his 2nd career indoor hardcourt title in Antwerp. But those standout results are outliers in a sea of utter mediocrity (and that’s being kind). In fact, he has been eliminated in the first-round of 16 events this season!

He avoided that distinction this week with a surprise straight-sets win over 14th seed Frances Tiafoe. It was a stunning performance and Bublik’s first hardcourt win in a Masters event since Miami. Bublik just has to focus on retaining his discipline. He has a fantastic serve and the ability to play incisive first-strike tennis.

But he often indulges in on-court theatrics, throwing in trick-shots that aren’t necessary during crucial intervals in matches. He was surprisingly well behaved against Tiafoe and it would be nice to see him retain that discipline here.

This has been a real breakthrough campaign for Nicolas Jarry. Like Bublik, Jarry has won two titles this season (at the Chile and Geneva Opens). But unlike the Kazakh, he has managed to maintain consistency throughout the more dormant parts of his campaign.

He has reached the quarterfinal stage in seven events this year. Furthermore, he has gone 8-4 in Grand Slams this year, beating his personal best in every single slam. And he recently enhanced his growing hardcourt credentials with a run to his maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal in Shanghai. Jarry- like Bublik- has an explosive serve that can help him dictate play.

He generally uses that serve and forehand combination to keep points short and sweet. But he also has the physical dexterity to keep in rallies and he will feel more comfortable in the longer exchanges. He just snuck past the unpredictable Popyrin in straight-sets and this looks like it could be a blockbuster round of 32 clash.

Verdict: Jarry to win in straight sets – 22/10

Jarry leads the head-to-head 1-0, easily dispatching of the Kazakh in straight-sets during this year’s Davis Cup qualifiers. I wouldn’t put too much stock in Bublik’s victory against Tiafoe.

The Kazakh has no consistency in his game and the tireless Jarry is exactly the sort of consummate professional who can take advantage of that. I think Jarry’s forehand will thrive in these quick conditions and I anticipate a fairly comfortable win.

1st November

Daniil Medvedev 2/9 | Grigor Dimitrov 32/10

The wonderfully versatile Daniil Medvedev has enjoyed yet another brilliant season (albeit a slightly frustrating one). He lost to the in-form Jannik Sinner in last week’s Vienna final, taking his imposing 2023 record to 64-15.

He has won five titles this season (including ATP 1000 titles in Monte-Carlo and Miami). He has also reached a further four finals (including his recent limp defeat to Djokovic in the US Open final). I think Medvedev would gladly swap all these finals for one more Grand Slam title.

But the former US Open champ remains one of the most dangerous hardcourt players in the world. And he has a significant pedigree in this event, winning the title in 2020 and reaching the final in 2021. The incredibly durable Russian seems unfazed by his psychotic calendar, reaching finals in three of his last four events. Can he end the season in style to make this a truly remarkable campaign?

This looks set to be an exciting rematch of last week’s round of 16 slugfest in Vienna. It’s hard to believe that former World No.3 Grigor Dimitrov hasn’t won a title since claiming the prestigious ATP Finals in 2017.

Dimitrov has had his struggles with injuries and form (not to mention the unrealistic expectation lavished on him at a young age). But the current World No.17 has actually bounced back in considerable style this season. He reached his first final since 2018 at the Geneva Open.

He also reached the 4th round of the French Open and Wimbledon. But it’s his late-season form that has really impressed me. The Bulgarian has reached three semi-finals in his last seven events. This included a heroic Masters 1000 showing in Shanghai, where he outlasted Alcaraz in a spectacular three-set duel.

He pushed Medvedev to three sets last week and he currently looks extremely competitive against the upper echelon players. He looked a little flat in his opener, needing three sets to see off the erratic Musetti.

Verdict: Dimitrov to win in three – 26/10

Medvedev’s victory over Dimitrov in last week’s Vienna Open extended his head-to-head superiority over the Bulgarian to 6-2. You have to go back to the 2021 Indian Wells Masters to locate a Dimitrov win. Perhaps this represents Dimitrov’s best chance to overcome the Russian.

Medvedev will probably still be somewhat deflated following that defeat to Jannik Sinner. Dimitrov has demonstrated his ability to go toe-to-toe with the Russian and I can see his array of cross-court variations causing some issues for Medvedev. I just think this one has upset potential in it. Medvedev has had an exhausting season and Dimitrov has been in really compelling late-season form.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides

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