Dennis Novak vs Benoit Paire - 2021 ATP Cup Round Robin
Thursday February 4th, 2021
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Group C action continues here at the 2021 ATP Cup in Melbourne, Australia with the tie between Team Austria and Team France. Here at the #2 Singles spot Dennis Novak of Austria faces Frenchman Benoit Paire. The match will be played on Thursday February 4th, 2021 at approximately 8:00pm EST. Who will come out on top?
Dennis Novak has been in good form so far here in Melbourne, upsetting the fancied Italian Fabio Fognini in straight sets. Novak has been Austria's number 2 for quite some time now and has had a solid career to date. Currently ranked #99, he splits his time between the ATP and Challenger tours with some recent success. He made it to the Quarter-Finals at the Cologne Open last year and is one of those players that is very talented but has struggled mentally during matches. He tends to run very "hot and cold" but definitely has potential to cause an upset here with his big game. This matchup will be even more important for Austria as their #1 player Dominic Thiem is not in the best form at the moment, so the pressure will be on Novak knowing that he needs a win to give Thiem a cushion.
Benoit Paire is a very talented but unpredictable player. When he is focused and in form he is very difficult to beat, but it is impossible to know when that will be. He is very distracted on court, and loses focus very easily. He has all the tools to do well here in this match, with a very offensive minded game and one of the best two-handed backhands on the ATP Tour. Currently ranked #28 he will be hoping to find some form before the Australian Open, having lost his opening match here in straight sets to Fabio Fognini.
This is a tough match to call due to the unpredictability of both players. Novak is in better form at the moment here in Melbourne but Paire has the higher upside and is the slight favorite. He lost his opening match here but I am backing him to bounce back here to get the win for Team France. Benoit Paire to win.