Rublev, Auger-Aliassime and Carreno Busta go down as seeds fall in Paris on Wednesday
No.5 seed Andrey Rublev led a parade of top-ranked players to the exits at the Paris Masters on Wednesday.
Over the years the Paris Masters has developed a reputation for producing surprise winners and mega upsets. Held in early November, when many ATP players are on their last legs after a grueling season, surprise results are commonplace, and Wednesday was no exception as several top seeds were sent packing.
No 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was the highest seed to fall, as he retired with an apparent arm injury against Alexei Popyrin.
Seeds eliminated on Wednesday at Paris Masters
No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas (retired due to injury trailing 4-2 to Alexei Popyrin)
No.5 Andrey Rublev (lost to world No 26 Taylor Fritz, 7-5, 7-6(2))
No.8 Jannik Sinner (lost to world No 35 Carlos Alcaraz, 7-6(1), 7-5)
No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime (lost to world No 58 Dominik Koepfer, 6-3, 7-5)
No. 11 Diego Schwartzman (lost to Marcos Giron, 7-6(2), 7-6(4))
No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta (lost to world No 103 Hugo Gaston, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5)
Seeds eliminated prior to Wednesday
No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut (lost to world No 55 James Duckworth 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4) in round one)
No. 13 Aslan Karatsev (lost to Sebastian Korda, 6-2, 6-7(9), 7-6(5))
Rublev’s Paris misfortunes continue
The Paris Masters has never been a stomping ground for Russia’s Andrey Rublev and that trend continued on Wednesday as the world No 6 was bounced by hard-hitting American Taylor Fritz on Court No 1. Rublev drops to 1-4 lifetime in Paris, and 48-20 on the season, with his loss.
Working in the Russian’s favour is the fact that he’s already wrapped up his qualification for this year’s Nitto ATP Finals in Turin – perhaps the rest will be more valuable for him than making a deep run in Bercy.
Auger-Aliassime plays poorly in defeat
In many ways it has been a breakout season for Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime. Playing at a career-high ranking of 11, the 21-year-old has earned 36 wins in 2021, and reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon and his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open. But inconsistency can still wreak havoc on Auger-Aliassime’s results. Germany’s Dominik Koepfer took full advantage of a poor effort from the Canadian on Tuesday to notch a straight-sets win.
The loss knocks the Canadian out of Turin contention.
“My game level was low. I served badly from the beginning to the end. I tried but was very low level, so I’m really disappointed,” Auger-Aliassime told reporters before adding that he isn’t sure if he’ll play next week in Stockholm.
Gaston stuns Carreno Busta
Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta had a sliver of a chance to qualify for the ATP Finals with a brilliant run in Paris, but that opportunity was faded by France’s Hugo Gaston, who engineered a comeback victory over the world No.17 to reach the round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon.
Gaston, 21 and ranked 103, rallied for a 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 triumph and will face either Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz next. Home cooking has served Gaston well this week. He defeated Arthur Rinderknech in the first round, also in three sets.
“I like to play in Paris. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. I like the place, so I feel good when I’m here, so that’s why I’m able to play good here,” he said.