WATCH: Daniil Medvedev heads to Paris-Bercy after winning the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

Once upon a time, the Rolex Paris Masters was the most vulnerable of the Masters 1000s to top-player withdrawals. It comes after the majors are over, and just before the ATP Finals. For those who had already clinched a spot in that event, Bercy could seem like one tournament too many.

But times have changed for the better for the Paris Masters. After missing two majors, Novak Djokovic is itching to play anywhere he can. The same is true for Rafael Nadal, who missed his own share of the season with various injuries. And at 19, Carlos Alcaraz shouldn’t have any problem playing into November.

Plus, there are still a couple of spots open for the Finals in Turin. All of which means this year’s Bercy field—which will compete for a $6 million purse—is about as strong as it has ever been. You can see it in the potential quarterfinal matchups: Alcaraz-Rublev, Medvedev-Auger Aliassime, Djokovic-Ruud, Tsitsipas-Nadal.

Here’s a look at how the draw might play out.


First Quarter

Have we reached the “he’s adjusting to expectations” phase of Alcaraz’s career? From February to September, the Spaniard had a near-frictionless ride upward. He won his first 500 in Rio, his first 1000 in Miami, and his first Slam in New York. Since then, though, he’s taken a couple of surprising losses, to David Goffin in Astana and Félix Auger-Aliassime, 6-3, 6-2, in Basel.

The top seed will try to shake off the No. 1 pressure, and any doubts he might have about his indoor game, when he starts against either Aslan Karatsev or Yoshihito Nishioka. After that, he could play Matteo Berrettini—the two have had close battles in the recent past—in the round of 16, and Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals.

As for ATP Finals qualification, Rublev is hanging onto the final spot now, but he hasn’t clinched yet. Another player in this quarter, Hubert Hurkacz, is still in the running, but he needs a big week. He’ll start against Adrian Mannarino.

First-round match to watch: Holger Rune vs. Stan Wawrinka

Semifinalist: Hurkacz


Second Quarter

Daniil Medvedev, who missed time due to surgery and was banned from Wimbledon, is another top player who still has reason to play and things to prove this season. In Vienna, he proved that he’s still a title contender; now the former No. 1 will try to win his first Masters 1000 of 2022. Medvedev has reached the final in Bercy the last two years, winning once and losing once. This time he’ll open against either Alex De Minaur or Sebastian Korda, and could play Frances Tiafoe after that.

If current form holds, Auger-Aliassime will be waiting for Medvedev in the quarters. FAA comes in on a 13-match, three-tournament win streak, and is looking to lock up a spot in Turin. Standing in his way in the round of 16 might be another player with the same goal, Taylor Fritz; as of now, the Canadian has the inside track to the Finals.

First-round matches to watch:

  • Korda vs. De Minaur
  • Taylor Fritz vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
  • Andy Murray vs. Gilles Simon, who will hang up his racquets in his capital city

Semifinalist: Medvedev


Third Quarter

There’s still something not quite right about seeing Novak Djokovic’s name in the middle bracket of a a draw, with a No. 6 next to his name. The important thing, of course, is that’s he’s in this field in the first place, considering that he already has a spot in Turin waiting for him. Whatever his ranking, no one gives a tournament more legitimacy than the 21-time Slam champ. And nobody plays better in Bercy, where he’s a six-time winner. Djokovic will start his quest for No. 7 against either Diego Schwartzman or Maxime Cressy, and might face Jannik Sinner in the round of 16.

Casper Ruud is the highest seed in the other half of this section. He’s already qualified for Turin, and, unfortunately, he has been playing like it. In his last three events, Ruud has one win.

First-round match to watch: Marin Cilic vs. Lorenzo Musetti

Semifinalist: Djokovic


Fourth Quarter

Is this the year Rafael Nadal finally wins in Bercy? Or makes the final? He hasn’t been there since 2006. As with Djokovic, the important fact is that Rafa, who is already Turin-bound, is in the field at all. He’ll open against either Tommy Paul or Roberto Bautista Agut.

The second-highest seed here is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has also punched his Finals ticket. He’ll start against Dan Evans or Brandon Nakashima.

First-round matches to watch:

  • Cameron Norrie vs. Miomir Kecmanovic
  • Denis Shapovalov vs. Francisco Cerundolo

Semifinalist: Nadal

Semifinals: Medvedev d. Hurkacz; Djokovic d. Nadal

Final: Medvedev d. Djokovic