Date: 3 November 2020
Tournament: Paris Masters 2020
Round: Round of 64 (First round)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €3,901,015
Match timing: Not before 2 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six / Sony Liv
Lorenzo Sonego vs Alexander Bublik preview
Lorenzo Sonego comes into Paris on the back of the best week of his life. Sonego entered the Vienna Open as a lucky loser, but managed to reach the final after scoring wins over Dusan Lajovic, Hubert Hurkacz, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Brit Dan Evans.
(At the time of writing, the Italian is scheduled to play against Russia's Andrey Rublev - the most in-form player on the tour right now - in the Vienna final).
His opponent in the first round at Paris will be Alexander Bublik, a player whose under-arm serve tactics have left tennis fans and experts divided. Nevertheless, Bublik is playing close to his best tennis right now with a current ranking of No. 49, two spots below his career-best of No. 47.
The Kazakh reached two ATP finals in 2019, while also reaching the third round of the US Open. His best results this year include reaching the semifinals in Rotterdam and the quarterfinals of the German Open.
Lorenzo Sonego vs Alexander Bublik head-to-head
Lorenzo Sonego has a 1-0 lead over Alexander Bublik in the head-to-head, with the Italian winning their recent encounter at the French Open in straight sets.
Bublik does, however, have a win over Sonego on the ATP Challenger circuit - at the 2018 Slovak Open.
Lorenzo Sonego vs Alexander Bublik prediction
Lorenzo Sonego called the win over Novak Djokovic 'the best of his life', and he followed that up with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dan Evans in the semifinals. He is already set to climb to a new projected career-best ranking of No. 32 in the world, and will be high on confidence heading into Paris.
That said, Sonego could possibly be affected by fatigue; the final against Rublev will be his seventh match in nine days.
Alexander Bublik, who quite a strong first serve, has gained plenty of attention for his regular use of the under-arm serve in recent times. The Kazakh likes to go for winners rather than putting the ball in the court consistently, and has a 14-15 record on the ATP Tour this season.
Bublik will need to play his best tennis to defuse the hot-hitting Sonego, and it remains to be seen if the 23-year-old is up to the task.
Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego to win in three sets.