Just two men are still in contention at the Paris Masters, with four-time former-champion Novak Djokovic set to take on first-time finalist Denis Shapovalov in Bercy. Both men will surely be desperate to get their hands on the trophy in the final match of the regular ATP season. But will Shapovalov score a statement win to finish his year or will Djokovic claim a 33rd Masters title and inject fresh momentum in his bid to finish the year as world #1?
Paris Masters Final Prediction
Novak Djokovic vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Djokovic 3-0 Shapovalov
This will be the fourth meeting between Djokovic and Shapovalov and it is not a matchup that the Canadian has enjoyed so far. He did take a set off the Serbian in the third round at the Australian Open in January in a 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-0 defeat, with Djokovic going on to win the title. But Djokovic then hammered him 6-1 6-3, again en route to the title, at the Italian Open, before claiming another comprehensive win at the Shanghai Masters last month.
After an indifferent start to the week in Bercy, with his performance in a 7-6 6-4 win over Frenchman Corentin Moutet leaving much to be desired, Djokovic has found his range. He also made a slow start to his third-round clash with Kyle Edmund, but finished strongly to claim a 7-6 6-1 win. He backed that up by crushing Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1 6-2 to reach the semifinals, where he faced Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian had impressed all week and gave Djokovic a stern test, but the top seed was ultimately a deserved 7-6 6-4 winner.
Shapovalov, unlike Djokovic, did not receive a first-round bye, but had played just four games before Gilles Simon retired to send him into the last 32. There he battled past 11th seed Fabio Fognini, coming from a set down to win 3-6 6-3 6-3, before beating sixth seed Alexander Zverev 6-2 5-7 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Gael Monfils. In one of his best performances of the year, Shapovalov took Monfils apart, winning 6-2 6-2. He then reached the final when Rafael Nadal withdrew ahead of their semifinal with an abdominal strain.
But as well as Shapovalov has played this week, it is hard to see him getting past Djokovic. The Serbian’s defensive skills have caused him real problems in all three of their previous meetings, with Shapovalov unable to find a way through Djokovic with any regularity. He is, however, playing at a considerably higher level than in Shanghai and this seems likely to be a closer contest as a result. Do not be surprised if Shapovalov wins a set. But expect Djokovic to prove too strong in the end.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
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