Friday Preview: Djokovic Plays Fritz; Medvedev, Zverev In Paris QF Action

  • Posted: Nov 05, 2021

The Rolex Paris Masters hits the business end on Friday with five-time former champion Novak Djokovic, 2020 titlist Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev in quarter-final action. Casper Ruud plays in the safe knowledge that he has already qualified for the the Nitto ATP Finals, while Hubert Hurkacz will be aiming to join the Norwegian in Turin later this month as a fellow first-time qualifier.

Back at the start of Djokovic’s standout season, Taylor Fritz had the World No. 1 on the ropes having won the third and fourth sets of their Australian Open third-round clash. Of course, Djokovic came within one victory of completing the first Grand Slam since 1969, going 27-1 in major play. Today, second on Court Central, the pair meet for the third time this year (also Internazionali BNL d’Italia), with Fritz in good form on the back of three Top 10 wins — Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells and Andrey Rublev in Paris — in recent weeks. The American has won 11 of his past 13 matches, while five-time titlist Djokovic seeks his seventh semi-final on the indoor courts of south-west Paris.

Medvedev will attempt to overcome home favourite and qualifier Hugo Gaston, who will compete next week at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The second-seeded Russian has compiled a 17-1 indoor record over the past 12 months, but should he lose on Friday then Djokovic will become 2021 year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for a record seventh time. In five matches this week, including qualifying, World No. 103 Gaston has beaten Kevin Anderson, Lorenzo Musetti, Arthur Rinderknech, Pablo Carreno Busta and Carlos Alcaraz to become the youngest quarter-finalist in Paris since No. 121-ranked Michael Llodra in 2012.

In the final singles match of day five, sixth seed Ruud, who secured his spot at the Nitto ATP Finals on Thursday, challenges fourth-seeded German Zverev, who has won seven of his past 10 matches against Top 10 opponents. Zverev got the better of Ruud 6-1, 6-3 at the Western & Southern Open in August. Seventh-seeded Pole Hurkacz begins proceedings, knowing that if he beats first-time ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finalist James Duckworth of Australia, he’ll clinch the final berth at the season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

Watch Thursday Highlights From Paris


COURT CENTRAL start 2:00 pm
J. Duckworth (AUS) vs [7] H. Hurkacz (POL)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs T. Fritz (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
[Q] H. Gaston (FRA) vs [2] D. Medvedev (RUS)
[6] C. Ruud (NOR) vs [4] A. Zverev (GER)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[PR] F. Martin (FRA) / A. Mies (GER) vs T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL)
[5] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL) vs [6] J. Peers (AUS) / F. Polasek (SVK)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [WC] B. Bonzi (FRA) / A. Rinderknech (FRA)

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