ATP Paris Day 5 Tips: Ruud capable of shocking Zverev

German Tennis Player Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev could face a tough test against Casper Ruud...

The Paris Masters reaches the quarter-final stage on Friday with all four matches featuring strong market favourites but Dan Weston believes at least one surprise result is on the cards...

"While Zverev easily disposed of Ruud in Cincinnati in August, it's fair to say that the Norwegian has improved markedly of late away from his favoured clay, and has eased into this stage dropping just seven games across two matches."

Norrie's defeat to Fritz puts Turin chances on the brink

Cameron Norrie's dream of reaching the ATP Finals in Turin took a huge blow with his loss to Taylor Fritz yesterday, and victories from Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz put them in pole position to take the final two spots. From what I can understand, for Norrie to qualify directly he would need to win next week's Stockholm Open and for Hurkacz to lose against James Duckworth today - a match where the Pole is a strong pre-match favourite.

Speaking of Duckworth, he picked up a very useful underdog victory for us yesterday in straight sets over his Australian countryman Alexei Popyrin to make his first ever Masters 1000 quarter-final. Let's kick off today's thoughts with that upcoming match:-

Hurkacz favourite to seal Turin berth

James Duckworth 3.4012/5 vs Hubert Hurkacz 1.412/5: Hurkacz is an extremely merited favourite to progress and seal that spot in Turin against Duckworth, and he has decent experience of this level in a Masters 1000 tournament following his win in the Miami Masters earlier in the season, and he also reached the semi-final at Wimbledon as well.

Hurkacz has also picked up an indoor title recently, triumphing in Metz towards the end of September, and there's not much to quibble about in terms of market pricing, with Hurkacz having a significant edge on serve numbers on hard courts in recent time periods. Given the prize at stake, I'd expect the match to go how the market expects, and Hurkacz to progress to a probable semi-final with Novak Djokovic tomorrow.

Ruud a little big-priced for Zverev clash

Casper Ruud 3.2011/5 vs Alexander Zverev 1.444/9: Latter stages of Grand Slam events tend not to have an abundance of pre-match market value, with player levels generally pretty well-known, and that's pretty much again the case here today.

However, if there's one spot which caught my eye, albeit to a limited extent, it is Ruud as a pretty big-priced underdog against Zverev here. I don't think market lines are huge value at all, but it's worth mentioning.

While Zverev easily disposed of Ruud in Cincinnati in August, it's fair to say that the Norwegian has improved markedly of late away from his favoured clay, and has eased into this stage dropping just seven games across two matches. On hard courts this year, there's not a great deal between the duo based on basic service/return points won percentages, although Zverev has arguably played a better calibre of opposition. Despite this, though, Ruud looks too big here and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he competed well against the number four seed today.

Outright market leaders heavy favourites to progress

Outright market leaders Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev also feature today, with both very strong favourites to get the job done against Taylor Fritz and Hugo Gaston, respectively, and it would be a real surprise for either player to be significantly tested today.

At this point at least, signs are pointing to a Djokovic versus Medvedev final on Sunday, which would be a great way to end the final Masters event of the calendar year - a final featuring the two best players on tour in 2021.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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