Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters.
The Final Masters Event of 2020
We might have had a one-week breather, but things come back this week at a frantic pace.
After a mere couple of days where the action died down ever so slightly, it’s back to overdrive this week as we head back to Paris for another “kind of a big deal” event on the tennis calendar, this one the Rolex Paris Masters.
But before we move to the draw preview and analysis for this Masters 1000, which is ostensibly what you’re here to read, let’s take a little detour.
A few days ago, news broke that accusations had been made against Alexander Zverev for abuse by an ex-girlfriend. Olga Sharypova said that at last year’s US Open Zverev tried to strangle her with a pillow at the hotel they were staying. These allegations were coming a day after a woman named Brenda Patea revealed to the world that she was 20 weeks pregnant with Zverev’s child.
This all comes at the end result of a rough couple of weeks for the German, who almost didn’t play a match at the US Open, just about face planted in his first Grand Slam final, got reckless at the major immediately following the other one and then got trounced by a teenager.
Add in accusations of abuse from an ex-girlfriend and, yeah, you might say things have already been better for Zverev. The German denied the allegations of abuse at the same time as he accepted his “responsibility as a father” to Patea’s child. You can see the full statement below.
More Drama with Zverev
— Alexander Zverev (@AlexZverev) October 29, 2020
It’s important to note that Zverev doesn’t have to be automatically guilty but it costs us all absolutely nothing to believe Sharypova. We’ll keep our commentary to that for today. For now, any other comment but the facts in this emerging story is probably premature; we’ll undoubtedly revisit this once more details become available.
Let’s move on to the Rolex Paris Masters and our predictions for how the main draw will unfold.
Simply put, this is Rafael Nadal’s tournament to lose. Yeah, we know this is an event played in Paris that is not the French Open. It’s widely known that the event is played on hard courts and that the Spaniard has never won it. We know all this, even the fact that he’s historically done «poorly» for his standard with merely one final berth in seven tries. We don’t care. (But we’re still not giving Nadal the title.) It will be up to his compadre Andrey Rublev to make a stand in the semifinals. Good luck.
As for the lower half of the draw, it might be time for someone to tell Daniil Medevev that it’s okay to start stepping up. Anytime now, he can start playing like the all-conquering hero he was at this time a year ago. Men’s tennis needs spoilers and heels and Medvedev played the role about as well as anyone could. Joining him in the quarterfinals should be Milos Raonic after he’s taken out his countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime in a little bit of polite Canadian-on-Canadian crime.
Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal over Jan-Lennard Struff; Andrey Rublev over Alexander Zverev; Daniil Medvedev over Karen Khachanov; Milos Raonic over Felix Auger-Aliassime
Semifinals: Rafael Nadal over Andrey Rublev; Daniil Medvedev over Milos Raonic
Final: Daniil Medvedev over Rafael Nadal
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG