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Paris Masters: Djokovic returns, Alcaraz and Medvedev in bottom half of draw

Novak Djokovic will be playing his first ATP tournament since the U.S. Open he takes the court at the Rolex Paris Masters this coming week. Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the Swiss Indoors Basel due to injury, will also be back in action.

The overall result is an absolutely loaded Paris field that includes every one of the top 32 players in the current rankings.

Djokovic will begin his week against either Tomas Martin Etcheverry or fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic. Ben Shelton is a potential third-round test for Djokovic in what would be a rematch of the U.S. Open semifinals. Nitto ATP Finals contenders Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz are possible quarterfinal opponents for the top seed.

Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev, who have already clinched their spots in Turin and just faced each other in the Erste Bank Open semis, also find themselves in the top half of the Paris bracket. Tommy Paul and Alex de Minaur are the other seeded players in the Sinner-Rublev quarter, with De Minaur to set to meet Andy Murray in the opening round. Unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino has been red hot and could also do some damage in front of the home crowd.

The bottom half of the draw is similarly stacked, with Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev on a collision course for the semis. Medvedev’s first match will come against either Grigor Dimitrov or Lorenzo Musetti, which–ironically enough–was the exact same case this past week in Vienna. Hubert Hurkacz is also a potential roadblock for Medvedev, while Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Ugo Humbert are in Alcaraz’s quarter.

First-round matches to watch at the final 2023 Masters event of the season include Dimitrov vs. Musetti, De Minaur vs. Murray, Shelton vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Hurkacz vs. Sebastian Korda, and Frances Tiafoe vs. Alexander Bublik.

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