Fixture: Jannik Sinner vs Benoit Paire
Date: 14 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: Not Before 7 pm CEST (10:30 pm IST)
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2
Jannik Sinner vs Benoit Paire preview
Teenage sensation Jannik Sinner will take on the mercurial Benoit Paire in the opening round of the 2020 Italian Open.
Sinner, the home favorite, will be looking to make amends for his shock loss to Laslo Djere at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel. The Italian had started off his clay-court campaign well by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets, but fell short against Djere in the second round.
Benoit Paire on the other hand has had a forgettable month, which saw him testing positive for COVID-19. That not only forced him to retire in the first round of the Western & Southern Open, but also put to rest his participation at the US Open. It remains to be seen how well the Frenchman has recovered for his match against Sinner.
A stat that will give Paire some comfort is that he enjoys his highest win-rate (amongst all Masters 1000s and Slams) at the Rome Masters. He had even made the semis at the event back in 2013.
Jannik Sinner enjoys playing on this surface too, having made three claycourt finals on the Challenger and Futures circuit. The Italian has also proven his capability of going toe-to-toe with several top-level players on the ATP tour.
Sinner was very close to getting past Karen Khachanov in the opening round of the US Open; it was only after he got injured that he started wilting. The 19-year-old played some exquisite first-strike tennis in the first half of that match, giving absolutely no breathing space to the more experienced Russian.
If that performance is anything to go by, Benoit Paire will be in for a tough time come Monday.
Jannik Sinner vs Benoit Paire head-to-head
Benoit Paire leads Jannik Sinner by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. The two players faced each other in Auckland (hardcourt) earlier this year, with the Frenchman winning in three sets.
Jannik Sinner vs Benoit Paire prediction
Jannik Sinner is one of the most well-rounded youngsters on tour currently. The Italian can produce winners at will off both wings, and also backs that up with a remarkable defensive ability.
Benoit Paire is not far off as he too can hit winners with ease from any part of the court. The Frenchman also boasts one of the most powerful backhands on tour, and will look to use that to attack the Italian.
On clay, however, both will need to display a lot more variety to survive in the rallies - which is an area where Sinner might just hold the upper hand. When you add his greater match practice into the mix, he might be considered a slight favorite.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in three sets.Published 14 Sep 2020, 03:53 IST