Our event of the day is the Quarter-finals at the Rolex Paris Masters in what is the fiftieth edition of the competition. The shorter format of this tournament, which takes place on hard surface courts, means players only have to win five games to reach the final but with many players getting a bye in the first round, their journey to the final has been made significantly easier. The opening rounds of this year’s competition have provided tennis fans with some incredible entertainment. Unfortunately, Rafa Nadal was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an abdominal problem but the rest of the field have certainly stepped up in his absence. Djokovic, Sock, Zverev, Čilić have all impressed the French crowd so far, having not dropped a single set. Play begins today with number four ranked Alexander Zverev taking on the 22-year-old Karen Khachanov. Zverev has the edge in the head-to-head battle between the two players, winning both matches they have endured, and the German will be favourite to progress to the Semi-finals today. This match will be followed by Jack Sock versus Dominic Thiem. These two last faced off in 2016 when Sock was triumphant over the Austrian who will be looking to exact revenge two years on from that loss. In arguably the tie of the day, Marin Čilić will do battle with Novak Djokovic. The number two seed will be the strong favourite going into this one, who has a head-to-head record of 15-2 against Čilić.
However, earlier this year, Djokovic lost to the number seven seed in the final at Queen’s Club and Čilić will take confidence from that famous victory going into today’s game. Play concludes tomorrow evening with another heavyweight clash where either Roger Federer or Kei Nishikori will secure the last Semi-final spot. Even though these two perennial talents have won 1,547 professional matches between them, they have only faced each other eight times, with Federer winnings six of those games. When they met earlier this year at the Shanghai Masters, the hard-hitting Swiss came out on top, winning in straight sets. The last time Nishikori was victorious against Federer was in 2014 at the Miami Masters. Novak Djokovic is the most successful singles player in the history of the competition, winning four singles titles since 2009. He also holds the record for most consecutive wins in at the Paris Masters following his wins in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and after a very impressive showing in 2018 so far, Djokovic will be looking to better that record this week and take the lions’ share of the €4,872,105 prize pool. It should be an excellent day of tennis in Paris.
Honourable mentions around the world go to Day 1 of the World Series of Darts Finals in Vienna, Austria. The first day of the tournament will see eight matches take place with the party piece being Steve Beaton versus Daryl Gurney. Michael van Gerwen has won this tournament every single year since its inception in 2015 and will begin the defence of his title on Saturday against either Maik Langendorf or Damon Heta. There is also a busy day in the NBA with eight games taking place including the 1-6 Suns taking on the 7-1 Raptors in Phoenix. In the Bundesliga, bottom of the league Stuttgart will host Eintracht Frankfurt as the home side look to secure just their second win of the season. There is a Western Conference clash in the NHL as the Pacific Division leaders Vancouver Canucks take on the Colorado Avalanche with the Canucks coming into the fixture on the back of a two-game win streak. Finally, there is Premiership Rugby Cup action as the Bristol Bears take on Gloucester whilst Sale Sharks host Saracens.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ATP World Tour
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