Nov 01, 2022

ATP Paris Masters Futures Analysis 10/31 - 11/6

My first post, the Contenders Preview, did not take the draw into account. In this post, I will analyze the best futures bets in the context of the draw.

Gill’s Best Futures Bets

  • Djokovic or Medvedev to win outright +110 (BetOnline)
  • Hurkacz to win 1st quarter +600 (Draftkings)
  • Medvedev to win 2nd quarter +120 (Draftkings)
  • Djokovic to win 3rd quarter -200 (Draftkings)
  • Shapovalov to win 4th quarter +600 (Draftkings)

Note: The quarter winner odds were posted extremely late yesterday (presumably due to uncertainty whether certain players would withdraw such as Berrettini), about 1.5 hours before the first match started at 4:30 AM Eastern US time, so the updated odds today will likely be different after the first day of play, but I’ll do this write-up based on yesterday’s odds because that’s all I have at the moment. I expect the new quarter winner odds should be posted 4-6 hours before the next day’s matches start, so hopefully before 2 AM Eastern US time.

Djokovic or Medvedev to win +110

Based on form/motivation, historical results/trends, draw setup, every sign points to this being a must-bet at plus money.

Form/Motivation: Djokovic didn’t play the US Open, and needs to defend his points here from last year in order maintain a decent ranking. While he’s probably not too concerned with losing the #1 ranking, he undoubtedly would like to get back into the top 4 as soon as possible to be the top seed in his quarter at grand slams. Djokovic is also coming in fresh, and we have no reason to question his form after winning Tel Aviv and Astana, with the only player to actually trouble him being Medvedev, who seems to be returning to peak form. Speaking of Medvedev, he has won nothing of significance this year, and so he is also coming into this tournament with something to prove. Meanwhile, Alcaraz and Rafa as 3rd and 4th favorites seem un-takeable, considering Alcaraz has seen a dip in form post-USO, and Rafa hasn’t played singles since the US Open, notably skipping out on even Laver Cup singles. From a motivation standpoint, this may be more of a tune-up event for Alcaraz and Rafa leading into ATP Finals, as opposed to an event they are going all-in to win.

Hisotorical results/trends: Medvedev has been a finalist the last 2 years and won one, losing to Djokovic in 3 sets in the other. Djokovic has won 2 of the last 3 Paris Masters, and Medvedev won the other one (Djokovic didn’t play). The general trend in the past 20 years has been that the US Open champion does not do too well here, and Rafa does not do to well here. The USO champion has followed up with a Paris Masters win only twice since 2000 (Safin and Djokovic). Rafa has never won this tournament, and only reached one final in 2007.

Draw setup: Djokovic and Medvedev are on opposite sides of the draw, and are favorites to win their respective halves. Djokovic landed in Ruud’s quarter where he is the heavy favorite to come out. Medvedev seemingly has a tougher path, with a potential Auger Alliasime QF and Alcaraz/Hurkacz SF. There are a couple players who can threaten Medvedev in his path, notably Felix, Hubie, and Alcaraz. But in Djokovic’s half, no one feels like a serious threat until the SF, where I feel like only Rafa can really challenge him, but as I mentioned before, I don’t believe Rafa makes a big push to win this tournament. I get the feeling that this is Djokovic’s tournament to lose, with Medvedev being the one guy who can really trouble him. If Medvedev doesn’t make it to the finals, I like Djokovic’s chances against Felix and Hubie. Alcaraz could catch lightning in a bottle and beat everyone, but I’m betting that he doesn’t, and makes his last big push this year at ATP Finals.

Hurkacz to win 1st quarter +600

  • Alcaraz +175
  • Rublev +400
  • Hurkacz +600
  • Rune +800
  • Dimitrov +1500
  • Van de Zandschulp +1800
  • Wawrinka +2000
  • Isner +2500
  • Nishioka +3500
  • Karatsev +6500
  • Mannarino +8000

Note: Karatsev already lost to Nishioka. Qualifiers Fognini, Fils, Otte not listed. Otte also lost already to Isner. Books often don’t list qualifiers in their first quarter winner futures posting, but they should be listed next time.

This is a tough quarter to pick a quarter winner, I could make a case to bet on almost anyone. So I’ll start with who I’m avoiding. I’m avoiding Alcaraz, who allegedly had knee discomfort after his loss to Felix last week. I’m avoiding Rublev, who faces Isner first round and hates playing against him (0-3 h2h). I’m avoiding Van de Zandschulp, who I think has an unfavorable matchup against Dimitrov first round. I’m avoiding Mannarino, who might have the best chance to beat Hurkacz, but probably loses to everyone else in the quarter.

I like Hurkacz here because he plays his best tennis at hard court Masters 1000 events, is a very good indoor hardcourt player, and made the SF here last year. These indoor courts are not as fast as other indoor courts, but they play like a “dead court,” with the ball not bouncing much. This type of court favors big servers and flat hitters, of which Hubie is both. His draw is not an easy draw, but if he plays his best tennis as he often does at hard court Masters events, I believe he comes through. The other player in this section who can effectively take advantage of these courts is wily French vet Mannarino, who also hits very flat, although his serve is much less formidable. Mannarino happens to be Hubie’s first round matchup. Mannarino completely befuddled Hubie earlier this year at the Australian Open, but Hubie is in much better form than Mannarino and has a big serving advantage, so I believe he figures this one out and moves through.

I think Rune, Dimitrov, Wawrinka, Isner, and Nishioka are all bettable in addition to Hurkacz.

Medvedev to win 2nd Quarter +120

  • Medvedev +120
  • Auger Aliassime +200
  • Fritz +700
  • Tiafoe +1000
  • Korda +1800
  • De Minaur +2000
  • Draper +3500
  • Bublik +4000
  • Davidovich Fokina +5000
  • Murray +6500
  • Rinderknech +8000
  • Simon +20000

Note: Korda, Bublik, Fokina, and Murray have lost already. Qualifier Mikael Ymer not listed.

This quarter feels a bit more straightforward than first quarter, with Medvedev as the clear favorite. Auger Aliassime and Fritz are also interesting picks as they are both competing for a spot in the ATP Finals. Draper is also a good look, as he’s been playing great tennis recently and seems primed for a breakout. Rinderknech also seems bettable at this price, as he will have the French crowd behind him, is in good form, and plays well in these conditions. I’m avoiding Tiafoe, who’s level/motivation seems to have dipped a bit since US Open and team competition. I’m avoiding de Minaur, who would likely have to go through Medvedev, Tiafoe, and Auger Aliassime to win the quarter.

Although I like Medvedev to win the quarter, I don’t think it’s a must-bet by any means. He has a tough path, and a QF match with Auger Aliassime looms, who just won 3 tournaments in 3 weeks. Felix was winning most of his matches easily so I think physical fatigue is a non-issue. However, mental fatigue may hit him before physical fatigue. If Felix does end up playing Medvedev in the QF, I think Medvedev matches up well with him on these courts, as he can get a racket on more returns than anyone Felix has played with his deep return position and long reach. Medvedev can also hold his own on serve, especially on these courts which favor big servers and flat hitters. Medvedev’s 3rd round is likely either Tiafoe or Draper. He owns a 4-0 H2H against Tiafoe and it seems like a comfortable matchup. Draper is a different story. He has never played Draper, and I feel like Draper presents more of a danger than Tiafoe in this spot. Fritz is in Felix’s side of the quarter, and that is also a dangerous 3rd round for Felix, as Fritz has been playing good tennis recently too.

In conclusion, while I took Medvedev to win the quarter, I think Medvedev or Djokovic to win outright is a better bet, because if Medvedev does somehow get upset, you still have Djokovic in play. And Djokovic is probably beating whoever makes the finals from the top half.

Djokovic to win 3rd quarter -200

  • Djokovic -200
  • Sinner +500
  • Ruud +1000
  • Khachanov +1400
  • Cilic +1400
  • Musetti +2000
  • Cressy +3500
  • Gasquet +6500
  • Schwartzman +6500
  • Basilashvili +8000
  • Baez +10000
  • Molcan +15000

Note: Sinner, Cilic, Schwartzman, Baez, Molcan already lost. Qualifier Huesler not listed (he beat Sinner)

Basilashvili has been going through some stuff lately. And he hadn’t won a match in months. Suddenly, he showed up guns blazin and has re-inserted himself into this conversation after thoroughly dismantling French qualifier Halys in the first round. More on him later.

I may have made it seem like Djokovic is a virtual lock to make the finals, but it’s a little more complicated than that. His first match is against Cressy, who possesses unique skills of: serve & volleying, tilting players with second serve aces, and instilling doubt. Even as a 10 to 1 underdog against the game’s best returner, you can’t count Cressy out in a match where he has nothing to lose (just ask Felix about their match at Wimbledon). The court conditions play perfectly into Cressy’s game, where his flat serves skid and become harder to return (he basically hits a flat first serve as his second serve), and his volleys won’t bounce as high, giving Djokovic less time to chase down volleys.

Djokovic’s potential third round match is against Khachanov, which would be a rematch of the 2018 Paris Masters finals, where Khachanov actually beat Djokovic. Or, he could get Huesler, a surging big server who thrives on indoor hard who just demolished Sinner, another one of the game’s best returners.

Djokovic’s potential QF match is Ruud (not scary), Gasquet (13-1 h2h), Musetti (not scary), and Basilashvili (interesting). Ruud and Musetti have both made huge improvements on hard courts this year, but I don’t think they have much of a chance against Djokovic. Basilashvili though, he randomly shows up and plays amazing tennis a couple weeks in the year. He hits the ball harder than anyone on tour, and he was easily hitting balls through these slower indoor courts, making them look fast, while every other player made them look slow. Let’s not forget Basilashvili went on a crazy run out of nowhere at the October edition of Indian Wells last year. No one needs wins here more than Basilashvili, who’s ranking is in freefall. If Basilashvili is playing well enough to make the QF against Djokovic, he will be a threat against Djokovic, because if he’s on his game he’s one of the few guys that can hit through Djokovic. Whether he can hold it together mentally to win two sets is unlikely, but he did take a set off Djokovic last time they played.

So I just gave you every reason to not take Djokovic, but still, I think none of these players are serious threats to Djokovic. However, they are enough of a threat to instill a little bit of doubt. And a little bit of doubt can be exploited by a serve and volley master like Cressy.

Shapovalov to win 4th quarter +600

  • Nadal +200
  • Tsitsipas +400
  • Shapovalov +600
  • Coric +700
  • Carreno Busta +1000
  • Norrie +1000
  • Bautista Agut +1200
  • Paul +1800
  • Nakashima +2000
  • Evans +2000
  • Kecmanovic +2000
  • Cerundolo +8000
  • Ramos Vinolas +15000

Note: Kecmanovic has already lost, qualifier Moutet is not listed

If we’re just going off form, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, Coric, and Moutet are in the best form coming into this. Moutet and Coric play each other first round, and that’s going to be a brutal, grinding contest which I have no idea who will win. Coric has a fantastic backhand which should serve him well against lefties, but Moutet will also force him to generate more pace than he likes to, and Moutet has the crowd on his side. Moutet is given a very good chance by the books to win. As a result, I’m avoiding either of their futures.

Coric, Carreno Busta, Norrie, Bautista Agut, Paul, Nakashima, and Evans all seem to be priced fairly, but none of them really seem like a compelling bet.

Tsitsipas seems to be a decent pick. He’s in good form and has been playing with something to prove ever since his loss to Galan at the US Open. With that said, he’s already locked up his ATP Finals spot, and perhaps the sting of that shocking defeat has worn off after a month of very solid tennis.

The one compelling differentiator between Shapovalov and Tsitsipas here is Shapovalov reached the finals the last time he played this tournament. He’s proven that he is dangerous on these courts. Moreover, he is in the best form of the year, and actually seems to be playing more patiently and tactically better in the past month. Shapovalov potentially faces Rafa in the 3rd round, and I think this is the perfect spot for him to beat Rafa, in a tournament where Rafa has never had success, in a spot where Rafa hasn’t played a match in months. Shapovalov has been so close to beating Rafa, he has had him on the ropes multiple times, and he certainly isn’t short on belief that he should beat Rafa.

If it comes down to a Shapovalov vs Tsitsipas QF, Shapovalov owns a 3-1 h2h. If Coric makes it to the third round and beats Tsitsipas again, Shapovalov just beat him convincingly in the past few months, twice.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Hurkacz, Medvedev, Djokovic, and Shapovalov to win their quarters. Parlayed together you get +16070. So a $10 bet will win you $1607.

What is everyone’s thoughts? Anything you disagree with, anything to add? Stop by the DegensClub discord to discuss! Also feel free to participate in DegensClub’s Pick the Draw and Odds Competitions to test your betting ability against other degens.