Novak Djokovic begins his bid for a fifth Rolex Paris Masters title on Wednesday when he takes on French lucky loser Corentin Moutet in the second round.
(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Four-time Rolex Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic is in for a big next few weeks – can he get off to a convincing and polished start on Wednesday when he opens his campaign in the French capital against wildcard Corentin Moutet?
After being forced out of the U.S. Open fourth round via retirement due to an injured shoulder and losing in the quarter-finals of his Shanghai Masters title defence, Djokovic finds himself in big danger of relinquishing the year-end No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal over the next two tournaments here in Paris and at the upcoming ATP Finals in London.
No matter what happens in Paris, Nadal will be the new World No. 1 on Monday, and if the Spaniard can win his first title at the tournament this week, he will secure the year-end No. 1 ranking. However, if he doesn’t, Djokovic will still have the chance to claim it at the ATP Finals, where new scenarios will be presented depending on how both perform in Paris.
It’s shaping as a thrilling battle to end the ATP season, but Djokovic says he simply wants to focus on himself and not worry on rankings.
“He’s in a much better position, but I hope I can do well in this tournament. I’ve historically played really well indoors in Paris and also [Nitto ATP Finals in] London, but it doesn’t depend on me. So I cannot really focus too much on what he is doing or other players. I’ll try to get the most out of my performances and see where it takes me,” Djokovic said.
“These kind of [year-end No. 1] calculations are never really great for the mentality of a player, and they take away vital energy that you need to use for your performance, so I prefer not really think about it too much.”
Djokovic started the year on fire as he crushed Nadal in straight sets to win a record seventh Australian Open title, but that was followed by a string of underwhelming tournaments where he lost in the third round of Indian Wells, the fourth round of Miami and the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo. Djokovic returned to form to win the Madrid Masters, finish runner-up in Rome, make the French Open semi-finals and save two championship points to capture his 16th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, but as mentioned, a shoulder injury plagued him during the American summer as he lost out to Daniil Medvedev in the Cincinnati semi-finals and retired against Stan Wawrinka in the U.S. Open fourth round.
Djokovic returned to action at the 500-level Japan Open in Tokyo and strolled to the title without dropping a set, but he did face three players outside the top 80, along with David Goffin and Lucas Pouille. The 32-year-old was brought back down to earth in his next tournament as he was eliminated in the Shanghai quarter-finals by Tsitsipas, signalling there’s still a way to go before Djokovic is back to his very best. With a few weeks break since, can Djokovic improve on that performance in Paris? He’s 32-8 at the tournament and has won four titles, but his last triumph was back in 2015.
Corentin Moutet (PA Images)
Corentin Moutet is the man standing in his way in the second round. After losing in the opening round of qualifying in his debut Paris Masters appearance last year, Moutet again lost in qualifying over the weekend to Jeremy Chardy in the final round, but he was fortunate to receive a lucky loser into the main draw and has certainly made the most of his second opportunity, beating Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up Dusan Lajovic in three sets to earn just his fifth tour-level victory of the season.
After picking up his first tour-level wins last season in making the quarter-finals of the former ATP event in Quito and reaching a career-high ranking of No. 105, Moutet has made solid progress in 2019 as he attempts to establish himself as a top 100 player. The 20-year-old broke into the top 100 for the first time in June on the back of a brilliant French Open, where he claimed a career-best win over No. 23 Guido Pella to make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. Moutet has also captured Challenger titles in Chennai and Lyon to hit a career-high ranking of No. 80, but that has slipped to a current mark of No. 97 after failing to win a tour-level match since upsetting Grigor Dimitrov in five sets in the opening round of Wimbledon.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair, and obviously it’s an enormous challenge for Moutet. He at least has nothing to lose and the chance to end the season by taking on the world’s best, but this is a great opening match-up for Djokovic and a chance for the Serbian to ease his way into the tournament and prepare himself for a big next few weeks.
Djokovic vs Moutet ATP Paris live streaming, preview and tips – Djokovic starts quest for fifth Rolex Paris Masters title
Novak Djokovic begins his bid for a fifth Rolex Paris Masters title on Wednesday when he takes on French lucky…
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.