Thursday, 31 October 2013

ATP Paris, Quarter-Final Preview: Djokovic-Wawrinka and Federer-Del Potro

I thought the Paris draw was going to turn into a mess, but rather surprisingly, the big guns have all turned up and reached the quarter-finals.  Milos Raonic's loss to Tomas Berdych has confirmed next week's line-up at the O2 with Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer.  In fact, if Nadal beats Janowicz then the final eight in Paris are the eight in question next week so it's certain we'll see some matches over the next few days that will be replicated next week.

1. Stanislas Wawrinka v Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
The prospect of a match between Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic is always a fascinating one based on their two encounters in 2013. Their first match in Melbourne remains one of the best matches of the year and although I felt their match-up at the US Open was heavily overrated, it was still the best of a bad bunch at this year's lacklustre final slam.  Wawrinka confirmed his spot at the O2 with a confident 6-3 6-2 rout of Nicolas Almagro, meanwhile Djokovic was made to work much harder as he lost the opening set of his third round encounter to John Isner, but rolled through the second and third sets to post a 6-7 6-1 6-2 victory.  Djokovic has won both their matches this year, but this one will be the first best of three set match.  Wawrinka has been up and down over the past few months, but remains a potent threat on his day.  I think Stanley will get another set, but Djokovic will come through once more...

Prediction - Djokovic to beat Wawrinka in 3 sets

2. Roger Federer v Juan Martin del Potro
Roger Federer
I am surprised another match-up between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro sits on our doorstops.  I did think there would be some tactical tanking going on and particularly from these two who played five matches in Basel last week.  Their final in Basel was a great contest and through patches, particularly that second set, Federer was stunning.  Del Potro was tested today as he dropped the opening set of his third round match to Grigor Dimitrov and was marginally troubled by a hip injury.  Federer has had no problems so far with straight set wins against Kevin Anderson and Philipp Kohlschreiber.  I am on the edge with this one because I think Federer will be the fresher of the two, but I would still anticipate DelPo being too strong for Federer, who has struggled in the crucial moments of these types of matches recently.

Prediction - Del Potro to beat Federer in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Paris Quarter-Final Predictions
Rafael Nadal to beat Richard Gasquet in 2 sets
Tomas Berdych to beat David Ferrer in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

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