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Paris Masters 2020: Milos Raonic vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert preview, head-to-head & prediction

Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 03 Nov 2020
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Match details

Fixture: (10) Milos Raonic vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Date: 4 November 2020

Tournament: Rolex Paris Masters 2020

Round: Second round (Round of 32)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Indoor Hardcourt

Prize money: €3,901,015

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 7.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six / Sony Liv

Milos Raonic vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert preview

2014 finalist Milos Raonic will face home favorite Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Wednesday, in the second round of the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters.

Raonic was one of the more successful players immediately after tennis returned from the COVID-19 break, reaching the final at the Western & Southern Open. But the Canadian failed to translate that form into a good run at the US Open, and subsequently withdrew from Roland Garros - a tournament he hasn't played since 2017.

Raonic made a successful return though, reaching the semifinal on his favored surface - indoor hardcourt - at St. Petersburg. The World No. 17 also began his Paris Masters campaign in style, barely breaking sweat while beating Aljaz Bedene for the loss of just five games.

The former finalist maintained a high first serve rate at 77% and hit as many as 18 aces, while breaking his opponent thrice. Raonic won almost twice as many points as Bedene - 60 to 34 - in an utterly dominant display.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert on his part gave Alexander Zverev a genuine scare at the French Open, taking the German to a fifth set in the second round. But the Frenchman registered only one main-draw win in the indoor hardcourt season leading up to the Paris Masters.

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Many expected that a return to home turf would motivate Herbert to perform at his highest level again. And he showed just that in his opening match, as he fought back from a one-set deficit to defeat Tennys Sandgren in a deciding set tiebreak.

Herbert won a high percentage of his first serve points in the match, at 80%. However, the fact that only 49% of his first serves found their mark would be a major concern for the Frenchman going forward.

Milos Raonic vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert head-to-head

The head-to-head between Milos Raonic and currently stands at 1-0 in favor of Raonic.

The Canadian won their only meeting, which was at the 2019 Australian Ope, in a tightly contested straight-set affair. The almost unbreakable nature of Raonic's serve coupled with his strong groundstrokes proved too much for Herbert, who caved under pressure in the crucial moments of all three sets.

Milos Raonic vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert prediction

Milos Raonic relishes playing on indoor hardcourts. The conditions add bite to his already precise and aggressive serve, and also help him use his attacking forehand to end points quickly.

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Milos Raonic finished runner-up at the 2014 Paris Masters
Milos Raonic finished runner-up at the 2014 Paris Masters

But Pierre-Hugues Herbert employs a similar attacking style of play, and is one of the more entertaining players to watch when on song. The Frenchman possesses one of the most stylish serves on tour that can help coast him through service games almost as effortlessly as Raonic.

Both players are also pretty comfortable at the net, but Herbert's vast experience in doubles certainly gives him an edge in that department. Even so, Raonic's strength and firepower from the back of the court should see him through.

Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in straight sets.

Published 03 Nov 2020, 22:17 IST
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