ATP Paris: Preview and Predictions

Its time to put my prediction skills to test for the last ATP event of 2012 before we head to the O2 for the World Tour Finals.  There will be no break between Paris and London this year and I have a feeling we could see the draw thin out rather quickly…

Tomas Berdych

QUARTER 1V.Hanescu v T.Berdych

There were many utterings that Roger Federer would pull out of this week’s event in Paris and that has now be confirmed by the tournament organisers.  Federer was the runner-up in Basel this week and his withdrawal has unfortunately given a bye to Victor Hanescu, who will have a second round meeting with either Marcos Baghdatis or Gilles SimonFederer’s withdrawal is good news for Kei Nishikori, who had that stunning run in Tokyo and has the draw to go deep this week and finish the season with a bang.  Tomas Berdych is the only top eight player left in this section.  He takes on Martin Klizan or Andreas Seppi in his second round match.  An intriguing third rounder against Richard Gasquet awaits if he can pass through his first obastacle.

Prediction – Nishikori v Berdych

QUARTER 2 – A.Murray v J.Tipsarevic
Andy Murray could face a potentially sticky second round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu who made the semi-finals this week in Basel displaying some very fine form.  His third round tie is likely to be decided between Philipp Kohlschreiber and Marin Cilic, both who have had their ups and downs this year but have potential to do well if Murray is off his game.

Janko Tipsarevic is Murray’s projected quarter-finalist and by far the weakest of the top eight.  He has failed to deliver in recent weeks and retired hurt from his first match in Valencia.  This section is particularly weak with Juan Monaco also misfiring of late.  He will play either Jurgen Melzer (Valencia semi-finalist) or Grigor Dimitrov (Basel quarter-finalist).  The runner-up from Valencia, Alexandr Dolgopolov is also here too and could meet Tipsy in the second round.

Prediction – Murray v Tipsarevic

QUARTER 3 – J.Tsonga v D.Ferrer
Novak Djokovic

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer are projected to meet in the third quarter-final; however I am predicting a washout of seeds in this section (brave or foolish?!).  I think Tsonga will come unstuck against fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the second round.  Benneteau has the tools to upset anyone on his day and has done well in Paris before.  Ferrer has had a tiring week in Valencia having won yet another title in 2012 and will want to be at his peak for the World Tour Finals in London.  I think he will fall in the third round to Stanislas Wawrinka; the Swiss player is always unpredictable, but did beat Ferrer earlier this year in Cincy.

Prediction – Benneteau v Wawrinka

QUARTER 4 – J.Del Potro v N.Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has many tricky players in his path to the final, but I still think he is the one to beat in Paris.  In the second round, he takes on Fernando Verdasco or Sam Querrey; the latter I believe will progress and at least give Djokovic something to think about.  Milos Raonic could be awaiting Djokovic in the round of 16 for a blockbuster clash although I would favour Djokovic in that one with his superior returning.

Juan Martin Del Potro has just won back-to-back titles in Vienna and Basel including a three set epic win over Roger Federer, his first over the Swiss maestro since the first World Tour Finals at the O2 in 2009.  I think the past two weeks will catch up with him this week and to be honest, I hope they do because I want him to be well rested for London where I think he could be the dark horse.  Del Potro is projected to meet John Isner in the third round; however I think Radek Stepanek could be on the warpath of upsets once more as he has had favourable results over both Isner and Del Potro this year.

Prediction – Stepanek v Djokovic

Final Prediction – Novak Djokovic d. Andy Murray
I have predicted a lot of upsets throughout the draw, but I still think the final will be contested by the top two in the draw.  We are all on course for the final wrap-up to the 2012 ATP season now and you can view my full predictions for Paris HERE.

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