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Ricky’s preview and picks for the Rolex Paris Masters 1000

The Paris Masters is upon us, which means for everyone except eight players the individual ATP season is coming to an end (the Davis Cup Finals are taking place in late November following the Nitto ATP Finals). There are two spots in Turin still up for grabs, although in all likelihood suspense will be over well before the end of the week since Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz would have to reach at least the final to steal a spot from either Felix Auger-Alassime or Andrey Rublev. Interestingly, all four of those guys are in the top half of the draw so things should be sorted out in swift fashion.

Still, it should be an intriguing week with both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back in action.

Rolex Paris Masters
Surface: Indoor hard
Prize money: 5,415,410 Euros
Top seed: Carlos Alcaraz
Defending champion: Novak Djokovic

Nadal and Djokovic are on a collision course for the semifinals, but Nadal especially won’t get caught looking ahead. One, the 36-year-old Spaniard has not played since the U.S. Open; two, his path to the semis is not an easy one. Nadal awaits either Roberto Bautista Agut or Tommy Paul before possibly running into Pablo Carreno Busta or Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16 and then Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in the quarters. Djokovic should not have as much trouble advancing, although an opening test against Maxime Cressy could be somewhat tricky on an indoor hard court.

The bottom half of the bracket may boast Nadal and Djokovic, but the other side is more interesting–and not just because of its Turin implications. It is wide open, with contenders including Auger-Aliassime, Rublev, Hurkacz, Fritz, Carlos Alcaraz, and Daniil Medvedev. Alcaraz is the top seed but may be understandably wearing out down the stretch following his U.S. Open breakthrough, whereas Medvedev is well rested and on a roll after lifting the Vienna trophy on Sunday. Auger-Aliassime has won back-to-back-to-back titles in the last three weeks, so he is the hottest player on tour. The Canadian cannot be counted out when it comes to making it four for four, but he could just as easily run out of gas. If the latter happens, the door could be slightly open for Fritz to make things interesting in the Turin race.

Quarterfinal picks: Andrey Rublev over Grigor Dimitrov, Daniil Medvedev over Taylor Fritz, Novak Djokovic over Lorenzo Musetti, and Rafael Nadal over Borna Coric

Semifinals: Medvedev over Rublev and Djokovic over Nadal

Final: Medvedev over Djokovic

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