The year’s last ATP1 000 tournament. Paris is the only city blessed with having to host both a grand slam tourney and a 1000 series one. Second seeded US Open Champ Daniil ,part of an elite cast in Paris that includes Djokovic, Tsitsipas and Zverev, faces big Belarussian Ilya Ivashka in the second round. Ivashka went from not ever winning a single match last year to a win percentage of over 50% this year. Part of the reason why he improved so much is that his all round game has improved, not relying on his serve as much as he used to. In this one he recovered well from the slow start after going a break down in the fourth game at 3-1.

Check out 2-1(15-30).He found Daniil’s forehand hard to play against that is because of his unusual motion of extending his arms with full rotation on the wrist. From 5-1 down and two set points down at 15-40 ,Ivashka won the next four games going to basics, a strong first serve and if Daniil managed to return , Ilya shortened the rallies to two to three shots. Watch 5-1 Adv Medvedev. It also helped that unforced errors crept into Daniil’s game. Ilya’s forehand isn’t bad either, watch 5-2(30-40) break point to the Belarussian.. Disappointingly all that hard work to get back into the set went to waste after a disappointing 11th game. Daniil’s serving was immaculate at 6-5 to seal the set. He won 74% of his first serve points, case in point? Check out 6-5(30-15).

The two breaks of serve Ilya got in the first set were the only ones that he got for the match. Daniil never gave the Belarussian a look in on his racquet. Watch the second game of the second set at 1-0(40-30). The Russian realized that Ilya is uncomfortable dealing with an opponent who attacks the net. Ivashka lost his serve in the most bizarre of fashion at 1-1(30-40). Daniil went to the well a few times with that well disguised backhand drop shot that Ivashka just couldn’t telegraph. But in this point Ilya got proactive and attacked the net first, probably did enough to win the point with the backhand look away volley. Why he left the shot by Daniil afterwards is beyond me. There would be no breaks of serve after this. Daniil winning it in straight sets 6-4 in the final set. He will face Sebastian Korda(son of Petr) of the US in Round 3.