ATP Paris Day 4 Tips: Duckworth and Dimitrov the best picks on a tough day

Action at the Paris Masters continues on Thursday with the third round on the schedule. With plenty to discuss, Dan Weston returns to preview the day ahead...

Norrie continues push for Turin

Cameron Norrie kept his dream of the ATP Finals alive with a win over Reilly Opelka yesterday, and his hopes were boosted by Jannik Sinner's defeat to Carlos Alcaraz Garfia. This leaves Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Norrie of those fighting for the final two spots remaining in the tournament, and all three are favourites to get wins today as the tournament continues.

Hurkacz's progress should be unhindered today having been fortunate with the tournament opening up for him, and facing lucky loser Dominik Koepfer today. Ruud should get past the American, Marcos Giron, while Norrie is the biggest price of all, at 1.60 for his clash with Taylor Fritz. While all three are solid or heavy favourites to continue their push towards Turin, there's only around a 40% implied chance of all three winning today according to the current market lines.

Duckworth capable of taking all-Australian clash

There's not an abundance of pre-match value across the eight matches today, but here are my thoughts on a couple of the other clashes:-

Alexei Popyrin 1.64 vs James Duckworth 2.52: Popyrin - another lucky loser from qualifying - was our pick yesterday, getting 4.5 games on the handicap against Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the third seed retired when 2-4 down in the opening set to give us a rather unfortunate void.

Popyrin's reward is another all-Australian clash, having beaten Alex De Minaur in comprehensive fashion earlier in the tournament, and Duckworth should provide some strong resistance.

The older Australian has already beaten tough opposition in Roberto Bautista-Agut, and also got past Lorenzo Musetti in three sets yesterday as well.

Duckworth also reached the final indoors in Nur Sultan at the end of September, and recent losses have generally been against decent players, so he comes into the match in reasonable form and playing at a solid level. My numbers suggest Duckworth is pretty under-rated in general and that looks to be the case here at the current 2.52 market line.

Dimitrov should compete against Zverev

Grigor Dimitrov 4.40 vs Alexander Zverev 1.27: I'm less enthused by this spot but I can't help thinking that Dimitrov is a little big here at this heavy underdog price. The Bulgarian has reached the semi-final of two outdoor hard events recently, including at Indian Wells (where he beat Daniil Medvedev) and his indoor ability is clear - he even won the ATP Tour Finals in 2017.

While Dimitrov's level has dropped since then, his numbers in recent months have been good and I think the market has underestimated this. I expect him to keep this close, at the very least, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he took a set or covered general game handicap lines.

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