Tournament: Rolex Paris Masters 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Masters 1000
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €2,603,700
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego preview
Taylor Fritz will open his 2021 Paris Masters campaign with a first-round match against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego. It is pertinent to note, however, that Fritz is into the final of the ongoing St. Petersburg Open, where he will face Marin Cilic for the title.
The American has had arguably the best month of his career, during which he has played 10 matches in a mere 21 days (including his match against Cilic). Fritz made the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open, his best result at a Masters 1000 event so far. And that run was almost as good as a title in the eyes of many, given that he accounted for Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev en route.
Proving that his result was not a one-off, Fritz has done one better at the St. Petersburg Open. The fact that the American has dropped only one set in Russia so far shows how confident he is right now.
Lorenzo Sonego, meanwhile, has not enjoyed much success on tour since the US Open, where he lost in the first round. While Sonego did make the last eight at the San Diego Open, he fell early in Moselle, Indian Wells and Vienna.
However, Sonego is unlikely to be a pushover in indoor conditions. The Italian's power-packed game is always a threat on faster surfaces, and if he can bring forth his best then he can definitely trouble Fritz.
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego head-to-head
The head-to-head between Taylor Fritz and Lorenzo Sonego is tied at 2-2. Both of Sonego's wins against the American have come on clay, while Fritz has scored his wins on the faster surfaces - hardcourt and grass.
The two have already faced each other twice this year, with Fritz accounting for the Italian at Doha and Sonego beating the American at Cagliari.
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego prediction
Ordinarily, Taylor Fritz would be the favorite for this fixture, given his form and matchup superiority over Lorenzo Sonego on non-clay surfaces. However, the fact that this would be the American's 11 match in little more than three weeks could bring in the fatigue factor.
Even though Fritz is one of the fitter players on tour, he will not be as fresh as Sonego coming into this fixture. And when you consider that Sonego can blow any player off the court with his first serve and booming forehand, this begins to sound like a tricky opener for the American.
The key for Fritz would be to disrupt Sonego's typical patterns of play by incorporating a few slices. If he can do that, and also continue to bring the heat with his serve and forehand, he should be expected to extend his winning run.
Prediction: Taylor Fritz to win in three sets.