Fourth seeded Benoit Paire will be up against the 94th-ranked Austrian Dennis Novak in the second round of the 2020 Cologne Open on Wednesday, October 14. The match is likely to start sometime after 12 pm local time (11 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Benoit Paire v Dennis Novak match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Benoit Paire v Dennis Novak Head to Head
This will be the second meeting between Paire and Novak. In their first match, Paire had beaten Novak in four sets in the first round of the 2018 US Open.
Paire Hoping to Put Post-Pandemic Season Behind Him
Paire had returned to tennis following the pandemic break having played a decent amount of tennis during the off-period, but little did he know things would pan out this badly.
In his very first match after the break, Paire lost seven games in a row at the Western & Southern Open before retiring because of illness. Later he tested positive for coronavirus in the lead-up to the US Open and was withdrawn only to later test negative.
What didn’t help his cause obviously were his back to back, opening defeats at the Rome Masters and Hamburg Open, with the Frenchman being forced to withdraw in the second set of the latter because of illness again.
Paire finally won his first match since returning back from the pandemic break in the French Open opener but Federico Coria got the better of him in the second to end his Grand Slam campaign for the season.
As a fourth seed, Paire has a first round bye in this tournament at Cologne, but can he get back to some sort of a rhythm going into the rest of the season? Will be interesting to see if there are ill-effects of the illness on the Frenchman.
Novak Also Wins His First
Paire’s issues look to be related to his illness and while Novak hasn’t had that issue, his form has been very underwhelming since the return to tennis. Currently ranked 94th in the world, Novak failed to make it to the Cincinnati Masters after losing in the qualifying rounds, and then went on a three-match losing streak.
That included defeats in the first round of the US Open to Alejandro Fokina, in what turned out to be a stunning five-setter that saw the final two sets end at 1-6, 6-0 in favour of his opponent. Straight-set losses in the opening rounds of Kitzbuhel Open and French Open wouldn’t have helped his mood too much either.
Which is why a quickfire 6-3, 6-3 victory over Jordan Thompson to kick-start his post-pandemic campaign is a step in the right direction for the Austrian.
On paper, Paire is ranked that much higher than Novak but his opponent has had his struggles in recent times and Novak could take his chances against the Frenchman.
Paire v Novak Prediction and Tip
It’s not much of a surprise Novak starts off as a favourite with an offer of 8/13 for his win to his opponent’s 6/5. One cannot quite be sure if Paire is 100% match-fit and it would be tough to call this in his favour as a result.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 11/8 (bet365)