Betting preview: Novak Djokovic may not get it all his own way in Paris Masters opener

World number one Novak Djokovic is back, but is he ready? Almost certainly, but he will be tested by Marton Fucsovics - a player who rarely gives anyone an easy ride.

Novak Djokovic returns to action for the first time in two months as he faces Marton Fucsovics in the second round of the Paris Masters.

The world No. 1 decided to take a break after his US Open heartbreak which saw him denied a historic calendar Grand Slam in the final.

He did not play in Indian Wells, regarded by many as the most prestigious Masters event of the season, but he has now decided it is time to get himself back on court for a busy end to the campaign.

When, where and how to watch

When: November 2, 7.30pm (approx.)

Court: Indoor hardcourt

How to watch: Amazon Prime

Is Djokovic ready?

The majority of the recent headlines surrounding Djokovic have centred around failure, and that is both testament to his greatness and incredibly unkind at the same time.

After all, the 'failure' to which people refer is the failure to achieve something that no one else has achieved in more than 50 years.

So essentially the situation with Djokovic has not changed here. If he's playing, no matter who he is playing, he is favourite to win it.

The real question is where Djokovic will be mentally. He has not played for two months and that will have dulled his match sharpness a little. It's not going to take him long to get up to speed, especially since he has had a doubles match already, but will that make him vulnerable early on in the tournament?

It will give Fucsovics a decent chance of taking the first set and building from there, which looks like his only real chance of winning.

Fucsovics a well-known banana skin

As the top seed, Djokovic gets a bye in the first round in every tournament except Grand Slams, so his tournament starts in round two.

That will be against Fucsovics after the Hungarian downed Fabio Fognini in the first round.

Marton Fucsovics

There are not many players Djokovic could get early in tournaments that would even have a chance of troubling him, but Fucsovics is certainly one of them.

He is not the most talented player on the Tour and that gives him a natural ceiling in terms of his ranking. He has never been in the top 30 during his career, and that tells its own story.

However, he is arguably the fittest player on the Tour and that means he rarely fails to muster some kind of resistance.

If Djokovic's level is a little lower than usual and Fucsovics makes it a tough physical battle, an upset is possible, although still unlikely. That said, Fucsovics to take a set from Djokovic may be a decent outside bet.

Conditions could play a part

While Paris is usually a quick court, this year it appears to be playing almost painfully slowly.

Winners from the back of the court have been a rarity and that should play into Djokovic's hands.

The Serb is probably the greatest defender the game has ever seen. That means it is hard enough to hit through him even when the court is quick and he has no time to react. On slower courts, when he has all the time he wants, it may be next to impossible to put him away.

For Fucsovics to win even a set, he will likely need Djokovic to have an unusually high unforced error count.

Djokovic has won here before - a lot

Novak Djokovic with 2019 Paris Masters title

No player in history has won more Masters-level tournaments than Novak Djokovic, so it will come as little surprise that he holds a spate of records in Paris.

He first won the tournament in 2009 and then again in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019. Those three successive finals, and titles, are tournament records in their own rights.

Additionally, no player has played more Paris Masters matches than the 45 Djokovic has, and the 37 wins he has there is also a record. Finally, Djokovic's 17 successive matches won is unsurpassed.

Basically, it's fair to say he likes playing there.

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