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Scouting Report: Djokovic, Alcaraz Lead Paris Field; Final 3 Turin Spots On The Line

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week
October 29, 2023
Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev compete in Paris this week.
Corinne Dubreuil/Pete Staples/ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev compete in Paris this week. By ATP Staff

The Rolex Paris Masters provides another chance for the world's best to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, with the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin set to continue at the indoor hard-court event.

Five Turin places have been claimed by Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev — all of whom are set to compete in Paris. The final three qualifying spots are currently occupied by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Holger Rune, though they will be pressured by the likes of Taylor Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud at the season's final ATP Masters 1000.

ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to watch in Paris.

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1) Djokovic Returns, Still No. 1: Djokovic will make his first competitive appearance since he quickly followed his US Open triumph with a Davis Cup win for Serbia. The tournament-record six-time Paris champion enters this year's event on a 13-match winning streak dating back to his Cincinnati title run. That stretch of success has earned him a 500-point lead ahead of Alcaraz for first place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, which serves as a barometer for the year-end No. 1 battle.

2) Alcaraz On The Mend: Alcaraz pulled out of Basel with problems in his left foot and lower back, but has confirmed his plans to play in both Paris and Turin. The Spaniard leads the ATP Tour with six titles this season, including ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Indian Wells and Madrid, but he has not lifted a trophy since he beat Djokovic in their epic Wimbledon final in July.

3) Defending Champ Rune Clings To Final Qualifying Spot: Holger Rune surged into the Top 10 for the first time behind his maiden Masters 1000 title last year in Paris, but the Dane narrowly missed out on a Nitto ATP Finals debut. He is within touching distance of Turin this year, but must hang on to his eighth-place position in order to get there. Last year in Paris, Rune beat five Top 10 players in a row to claim the title, including a three-set final victory against Djokovic.

4) Medvedev Seeks Another Deep Run: Medvedev took a week off from practice following his early Shanghai exit, during which time he celebrated his daughter's birthday, and he came back refreshed for a deep run in Vienna. He has now reached at least the final in three of his past four events dating back to his runner-up finish at the US Open.

5) Tsitsipas Rounding Into Form: Tsitsipas endured a difficult stretch after he won the Los Cabos title in early August, but he notched multiple wins in both Antwerp and Vienna to signal a warning to his ATP Tour colleagues. The Greek reached the Paris semis last season and was edged out by Djokovic in a final-set tie-break. He will hope to rediscover that form to close the season on a high. 

6) 'Contender' Zverev Seeks To Cap Comeback Season With Turin Bid: The German once again feels he is a threat to win every tournament he enters, and he's already claimed two tour-level titles this season in Hamburg and Chengdu. Seventeen months removed from a major ankle injury suffered last year at Roland Garros, Zverev is in prime position at seventh place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and can assure himself of a place at the Nitto ATP Finals with another strong showing in Paris.

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7) Fritz, Hurkacz, Ruud Lead Chasing Pack: Ruud reached the final last year in Turin, while Fritz made the semis on his debut. Both are in danger of missing out on the Nitto ATP Finals this season but could boost hopes with deep runs in Paris. Hurkacz, whose Shanghai title put him firmly in the hunt for a place at the season finale, will likely need a similar result in Paris to secure his second appearance in Turin.

8) Can Shelton Go Bigger?: American Ben Shelton won the first ATP Tour title of his career earlier in October at the ATP 500 in Tokyo. Could he score an even bigger trophy at an ATP Masters 1000? Shelton owns an 8-9 record at that level in his young career, with his recent Shanghai quarter-final run his best result.

9) French Home Favourites: Adrian Mannarino, Ugo Humbert and Arthur Fils are among eight Frenchmen in the Paris draw. Mannarino and Humber start against qualifiers, while #NextGenATP star Fils plays Daniel Altmaier. Richard Gasquet, Luca Van Assche, Benjamin Bonzi and Alexandre Muller have received wild cards.

10) Doubles Drama In Live Race: The final places at the Nitto ATP Finals are up for grabs in Paris. Reigning Paris champions Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski sit second in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings and have already secured their Turin place.

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