Paris Masters Outright Tips: Djokovic the man to beat in the French capital

Serbian Tennis Player Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is a solid favourite to win the Paris Masters

The Paris Masters gets underway on Monday, and with all of the world's top 10 players participating, Dan Weston is anticipating a superb final Masters of the season...

  • Plenty of players still competing for Tour Finals spots

  • Djokovic solid favourite and man to beat

  • Alcaraz vulnerable to likes of Medvedev and Zverev

Several objectives for numerous players in Paris

Both the opportunity to win a final Masters of the season and qualification for the Tour Finals are always at the forefront of discussion ahead of and during the Paris Masters, and this year is no different.

At this point in time, Holger Rune (3,290 points) is eighth in the race to Turin, but Alexander Zverev (7th, 3,505 points) will also be watching over his shoulder as the likes of Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud could overtake them with strong performances in the French capital in the upcoming week.

Djokovic solid market favourite for the title

Rune is actually defending champion here, beating Novak Djokovic 7-5 in the deciding set of last year's final, but the Dane looks far from that player this time last year.

Prior to last week in Basel, where he beat unspectacular opposition to reach the semi-finals, and then was easily beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rune had lost seven of his last eight matches. If we go further down the winners list, the last three years prior to 2022 reads Djokovic/Medvedev/Djokovic, which gives an ominous hint at where the tournament winner could come from.

Indeed, Djokovic is the 2.707/4 outright market favourite on the Betfair Exchange with Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner behind him but considerably bigger-priced.

Alcaraz should start at around 5.04/1, while Medvedev and Sinner will likely get underway at around 9.08/1 to 10.09/1. However, with first-round byes, these seeded players aren't anticipated to start their tournaments until Wednesday.

Djokovic hasn't been seen on court in an ATP event since he won the US Open in September, but the Serb is the master of scheduling and often goes around four to six weeks between major events.

After winning Wimbledon in July, he had a month off before Cincinnati (title) and then that US Open triumph. Prior to Wimbledon, he last featured at the French Open - he's played four tournaments since mid-May and lost just one match - to Alcaraz in that Wimbledon final.

Alcaraz vulnerable in bottom half of the draw

Alcaraz has also played fairly sparingly although that's with potential injury concerns, and while he is seeded to meet Djokovic in the final, I'd suspect the veteran will have too much for the young Spaniard in relatively quick indoor conditions - Alcaraz is pretty inexperienced indoors and the numbers he has in those matches aren't hugely impressive.

Daniil Medvedev could be the one to really test Alcaraz in that bottom half of the draw, while we could also see a rematch between Grigor Dimitrov and Alcaraz after the Bulgarian's win recently in Shanghai.

With Alexander Zverev also among the threats in that half, it doesn't look a particularly easy route to the final for Alcaraz.

World number one with strong venue record

Djokovic's main threat should come in the form of Jannik Sinner, who picked up the Vienna title last week, beating Medvedev in a deciding set in the final.

This was Sinner's second final win over Medvedev in the last six weeks, having also won against the world number three in Beijing.

Unseeded threats in the top half of the draw come from Taylor Fritz, and possibly Ben Shelton, Alex de Minaur and Tommy Paul.

Realistically, this looks like Djokovic's tournament to lose. The world number one has a strong recent record at the venue, and should be well rested having managed his schedule to miss out on the events in Asia over the last few weeks.

He has reached the final in this tournament in all of the last five, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all if he picked up another Masters title. Anyone minded of taking a long-shot should probably focus on the bottom half of the draw, where Alcaraz looks vulnerable.

Read Dan Weston's tips every day on Betting.Betfair


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