Preview: Murray bids for first Paris masters title
By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray is the second seed at the Paris Masters where he has never won the title
- The Brit is in the same half as Roger Federer and quarter as Kei Nishikori
- Murray could face Davis Cup final opponent David Goffin in round three.
Paris, France- Andy Murray has been dealt with a difficult draw as he attempts to win the BNP Paribas Paris Masters for the first time.
Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules
The British number one has been drawn in the same half as third seed Roger Federer and the same quarter as Kei Nishikori.
But even more interestingly, Murray could have a Davis Cup final warm-up against David Goffin in round three. The pair were drawn in the same section on Friday and receive opening round BYE’s due to their seeding.
World number one Novak Djokovic will be undoubtedly the favourite for the title he won last year and in 2014. The Serb is unbeaten since the Cincinnati Masters final loss to Federer, winning the US Open, Beijing and Shanghai Rolex Masters titles.
Djokovic will open up in round two against either Thomaz Bellucci or Phillip Kohlschreiber. 14th seed Gilles Simon is projected for the third round, but he will face a tough ‘all French’ second round match against either Benoit Paire or Gael Monfils.
Fifth seed Tomas Berdych comes into the tournament in good form following back to back title victories. But he could potentially face the mammoth serve of Ivo Karlovic in round two.
One player to watch out for will be 2008 champion Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who will be a probable opponent for the winner of Karlovic vs Berdych.
Stan Wawrinka will be looking to put his Basel misery behind him when he takes to the court in Bercy this week. The French Open champion will have to wait until the second round to start his tournament against either Bernard Tomic or Fabio Fognini. The third round opponent could be Feliciano Lopez who will face either Jack Sock or Viktor Troicki.
Rafael Nadal has never experienced much success indoors but is fresh off a good week in Basel. The seventh seed will likely face fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round, who has a qualifier opponent in the first.
Kevin Anderson could be a player to watch this week as the indoor conditions should suit his game. The South African briefly reached the top ten for the first time in October. Dominic Thiem or Adrian Mannarino await him in the second round.
There has never been anyway greater than Federer indoors and the third seed will be looking to add to his already huge trophy collection this week after capturing the Basel title. Andreas Seppi or Pablo Cuevas on paper should not provide much of a problem, but John Isner in round three could be tricky.
David Ferrer would not have enjoyed seeing his name against Federer’s in the projected quarter finals. Their head to head reads 16-0 in favour of the Swiss, so the Spaniard will be hoping for a shock exit for Federer.
The eighth seed sealed qualification for the World Tour Finals this week without even playing, so comes in to the tournament in good spirits. Ferrer will play Alexandr Dolgopolov or Jiri Vesely in round two.
2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic could face Ferrer in the third round. The Croatian could face Grigor Dimitrov in round two, who has been in a bit of a slump this season after a great 2014.
The second seed has been dealt with a tough draw in the last tournament before the World Tour Finals. Murray will play either Borna Coric or Fernando Verdasco in round two with hope of potentially meeting Goffin in the third round. The Belgian will face Nicolas Mahut or a qualifier in his opener.
Elsewhere in this section is the injury troubled Nishikori who has not played since his loss to Anderson in Shanghai. Therefore the favourite to make it to the quarter finals might be Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman will play either Leo Mayer or Martin Klizan in round two, whilst Nishikori will play the winner of the all French affair between Jeremy Chardy and Lucas Pouille.
Murray will not be the only Brit in action this week. Aljaz Bedene came through qualifying to advance to the main draw after a three sets win over Jerzy Janowicz. The Brit came from a set down to defeat the 2012 finalist (3) 6-7, 6-2, 7-5.
The BNP Paribas Paris Masters will start Monday 2nd November at 10am GMT.
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