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Ricky’s Previews And Picks For Wednesday In Paris: Federer vs. Raonic And Nadal vs. Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco of Spain returns the ball to Jeremy Chardy of France during their first round match at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 30 0ctober 2018.  EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON



By Ricky Dimon


Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal may have difficult openers on their hands at the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday. Federer is facing Milos Raonic during second-round action, while Rafael Nadal collides with countryman Fernando Verdasco.


Ricky previews the action and makes his predictions:


Milos Raonic vs. (3) Roger Federer

Roger Federer of Switzerland attends a training session at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 30 0ctober 2018. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

Federer and Raonic will be squaring off for the 15th time in their careers when they meet again in the Paris second round on Wednesday night. The head-to-head series stands at 11-3 in favor of Federer, who has taken two in a row on grass against the Canadian (6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) in the 2017 Wimbledon quarterfinals and 6-4, 7-6(3) in this summer’s Stuttgart title match).


Raonic almost missed another date with the all-time great, but he managed to outlast Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(5) after two hours and 53 minutes on Tuesday night. Although Raonic is now a decent 32-15 on the year, for the most part it has been a disappointing 2018 campaign for the world No. 21. Federer is coming off a title last week in Basel, where he was rarely at his best but still got the job done for his ninth career title at his home event. The third seed may not be at his dominant best these days, but Raonic also isn’t in peak form and the underdog could be fatigued following the thriller versus Tsonga.

Pick: Federer in 3


(1) Rafael Nadal vs. Fernando Verdasco

Nadal is back in action for the first time since retiring against Juan Martin Del Potro in the U.S. Open semis. The Spaniard may have been tempted to shut down his season due to a knee injury, but a neck-and-neck race with Novak Djokovic for the year-end No. 1 ranking plus a desire for some indoor practice prior to the Nitto ATP Finals (an tournament he has never won) likely sent Nadal on his way to the Paris Indoors.


Speaking of events at which he has never lifted the trophy, this Masters 1000 is one. Before the world No. 1 can even think about triumphing this time around in what is his seventh appearance in Bercy, he will have to survive a 20th career encounter with Verdasco. Nadal is dominating the head-to-head series 16-3, but they have split their last six encounters at three wins apiece. Despite Verdasco’s relative success of late, he is on a two-match losing streak against Nadal with consecutive Indian Wells losses in 2016 and 2017. The world No. 27 earned another shot in this matchup by defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday. With Verdasco in solid form right now and Nadal likely displaying some rust, expect a competitive contest.

Pick: Nadal in 3


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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