Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: ATP Tour: Rolex Paris Masters | Round of 32 Preview

ATP Tour: Rolex Paris Masters | Round of 32 Preview

ATP Tour: Rolex Paris Masters - Round of 32 Preview

We take a look at selected round of 32 matches from the ATP Tour's Rolex Paris Masters taking place at the AccorHotels Arena. 


2019 ATP Tour | ATP Masters 1000 Series
Rolex Paris Masters | AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France
Selected Round of 32 Matches | 30 October 2019

Stan Wawrinka (13/20)
vs Marin Cilic (23/20)

This is a clash of two venerated tour professionals who have tasted rare Grand Slam success in the age of the ‘Big Three’. Cilic is a three-time Grand Slam finalist who perhaps has not mentally recovered from last year’s heart-breaking Aussie Open defeat. The prickly Croatian has endured a miserable 2018. His 4th round run in Melbourne seemed to suggest that he would be a regular fixture in contention this year. But he only managed to reach his maiden 2019 semi-final at the Kremlin Cup a few weeks back. But there have been some encouraging signs of late, not least of which at Flushing Meadows. The former US Open champion pushed Rafa Nadal in a pulsating round of 16 encounter. He also seemed to have recaptured some serve dominance in his opening match here against Hurkacz. He won 86% of his 1st serve points in the match, with 63% unreturned in the second set. His first serve has abandoned him for much of the year thus far. 

Stan Wawrinka’s late season rally could be the source of inspiration for Marin Cilic. The three-time Grand Slam champion had an indifferent first half of the season, punctuated by an appearance in the Rotterdam final. But a quarter-final run at Roland Garros reminded the public of his tenacity and fighting spirit. He then enjoyed another brilliant quarterfinal run at Flushing Meadows. He has had to endure a litany of injury issues over the past few years. Two weeks back he reached the European Open final, only to lose to old nemesis Andy Murray. But his performance in Antwerp suggests that Wawrinka is back at his best. He chose to retire last week leading up to the Swiss Indoors quarterfinal, siting fatigue ahead of the Federer clash. 

This will be their 15th encounter, with Wawrinka holding an imperious 12-2 head-to-head advantage. Funnily enough, this will be the first time they would have met since the 2017 French Open. You have to go all the way back to 2010 to find the last Cilic victory. However, I was hugely impressed by Cilic’s opening round performance. He is a confidence player who has been woefully disappointing this year. This may be his chance to remind us of how good he can be.  

Matteo Berrettini (1/1)
vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga (4/5)

Matteo Berrettini’s dream season seems to be getting better every week. His semi-finals showing in Vienna last week made him only the 4th Italian to break into the ATP top 10 rankings. He will be looking for a solid showing this week to become only the 3rd to make it to the season-ending ATP Finals. A winner already on grass and clay this year, Berretini has been immense on the hardcourts of late. That herculean run to the semi-final at Flushing Meadows was a defining moment for the young Italian. Many young players will have wilted in the wake of that epic showing. But semi-finals in Shanghai and Vienna have positioned the 23-year-old well going into this defining event.

It’s quite difficult to picture the affable Tsonga as a tour veteran, depressing in fact. It just seems like yesterday when he made that Aussie Open final against Federer. Tsonga has always thrived in front of his home crowd.  He won this event in 2008 and reached the final in 2011. Despite an indifferent year for Tsonga, he has managed his best performances in his home country. He captured the Open Sud de France title on indoor hardcourts, highlighting his comfort levels on these surfaces. He then endured a poor mid-season period. It was a stroke of genius by Tsonga to take a step back to the Challenger tour at Cassies. He won there, which helped him to reach the final in Metz after that. Tsonga will clearly enjoy fanatical home support this week. His victory over Andrey Rublev already hinted at the excitement machine that is Tsogna. 

This will unsurprisingly be their first ever meeting. Berrettini will clearly be hugely motivated with the season ending tour finals gangling as a carrot. But Tsonga is just sensational on these courts, especially in France. He looks like an extremely appealing underdog here.  

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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