TennisSection previews the 2021 Paris Masters as Daniil Medvedev takes on Ilya Ivashka in the Round of 32 on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021.
Will defending champion Daniil Medvedev go back-to-back at the 2021 Paris Masters? Or Will Ilya Ivashka record his career-best win yet, in a career-best season? This should be a thrilling battle of power tennis which would mean rallies will be at a premium.
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev broke Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam hegemony at the US Open and won his maiden Major title. Medvedev has long been knocking at the door, losing in two finals before to Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Now that he has distanced himself from a mere pretender to become a title contender at tennis’ prestigious tournaments, he could soon be the ATP’s kingpin. Although Medvedev came very close to challenge Djokovic for the year-end No. 1 ranking, defeat in Indian Wells extinguished those hopes. He enters the 2021 Paris Masters as the tournament’s reigning champion having Alexander Zverev in last year’s final.
Ilya Ivashka, meanwhile, is another player who has strung together an incredible 2021 season. Having started the year outside the world’s Top 100, Ivashka re-entered the ATP’s centurion club with a run to his first ATP semifinal in Munich. He went on to establish himself as an all-court player with a decent summer in Europe. Some his eye-catching results on the lawns included his run to the quarterfinals of Eastbourne. And perhaps significantly, he made his first-ever second-week appearance at a Grand Slam when he reached the fourth round of Wimbledon. It was only fitting that Ivashka’s season would end with a cherry on top of it. The Belarusian No. 1 picked up his first ATP title at Winston-Salem, and simultaneously peaked at a career-high ranking of No. 43. Ivashka began his 2021 Paris Masters campaign with a comfortable straight-sets win over Albert Ramos Vinolas. He hammered 15 aces and won 82% first-serve points en route to victory.
Ilya Ivashka leads the head-to-head 1-0, beating Daniil Medvedev in a Fed Cup singles rubber in 2018. But across all levels, which encompasses matches at junior circuit and the Challenger Tour, Medvedev has a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. But matches between the pair have been tight contests in the past. Wednesday’s match at the 2021 Paris Masters should follow suit. Both players have a penchant for hitting a big ball, and will try and outmuscle each other from the back of the court. But what should separate the two players is Medvedev’s hard-court pedigree and court awareness, which are miles ahead of the Belarusian.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Daniil Medvedev in 3 sets.
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