Thu, Nov 1, 11:17am by Staff Writer
The final ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season is taking place this week in Paris on indoor hard courts, with Novak Djokovic the runaway favourite.
The Serbian is priced at $1.61 to win the only indoor Masters 1000 event and has won through to the third round to play Damir Dzumhur.
There have been a number of high-profile withdrawals from this event, including from world number one Rafael Nadal.
Nadal has not played since the US Open and his place in next week’s ATP Tour Finals in London may be in jeopardy.
Roger Federer won his 99th ATP title last week when he claimed his home event in Basel for the ninth time.
Federer has opted to play the Paris indoors event for the first time in a number of seasons and is priced at $6 to win the title.
He received a second round walkover from Canadian Milos Raonic and plays Fabio Fognini in the third round.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev is the next best in the market at $11.
The German has had a promising season in winning the Madrid Masters as well as events in Washington and Munich.
His second part of the season hasn’t lived up to his stellar play early on in the campaign and he will be hoping to finish the season with a flurry.
He won his first match all-time at the Paris Masters last night in defeating American Francis Tiafoe.
Zverev struggled in numerous service games and was fortunate to come away with a straight sets win. He is no shoe-in on this surface and plays Diego Schwartzman next.
Last year’s winner Jack Sock has had a season to forget, winning just eight of 28 tour matches.
The American is defending plenty of points this week in Paris and got his campaign off to a promising start defeating Richard Gasquet in straight sets.
Nadal’s withdrawal has worked beautifully for Sock, who now plays lucky loser Malek Jaziri in the third round. Sock is priced at $34 to win the tournament.
Last week’s winner in Vienna Kevin Anderson is in form and priced at $21 to win the Paris Masters.
The courts in Paris will suit the South African much more than those in Vienna and he came through a tough opening round match in a third set tiebreaker.
Croatian Borna Coric defeated the in-form Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Wednesday morning and is a $21 outright shot. The only concerns around Coric are the fact that he returned last week in Vienna and he has a Davis Cup final to look forward to in a fortnight’s time.
John Isner is another who will be exciting by the courts in Paris and is $26 to win the tournament.
Isner is an underdog for his third round match against Karen Khachanov and battled through a third set tiebreak to beat Mikael Kukushkin in the second round.
Isner also had the trainer out in that one, so it may be worth steering clear of the big serving American this week.
Elina Svitolina won the WTA Finals in Singapore last weekend, defeating American Sloane Stephens in three sets.
It was a tough week for the Ukrainian who played four three set matches on her way to her first WTA Finals victory.
This week the attention in the WTA turns to Zhuhai in China for the WTA Elite Trophy.
Players ranked outside the top 10 are invited to this event that is in its fourth year on fast indoor hard courts in southern China.
The next round of matches features Australia’s Ashleigh Barty who lost in straight sets in her first match to Aryna Sabalenka.
Barty is priced at $1.83 to defeat Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, who is also priced at $1.83.
In the other matches on Thursday, Elise Mertens hopes to make it two from two as a $2 underdog against last season’s champion Julia Goerges.
Latvian Anastasija Sevastova is priced at $1.61 to beat local hope Shuai Zhang, who is a $2.20 chance.
Zhang lost in three sets on Wednesday to Garbine Muguruza.
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