Milos Raonic is the surprise among the four Paris Masters semifinalists. Photo by Rolex Paris Masters.
- Three of the top four seeds reached the Paris Masters final four – missing is No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Rafael Nadal got off to a slow start in two of his first three matches, dropping the first set
- Nadal has never won the Paris Masters; we discuss his chances of making his first final since 2007 below
Will this be the year Rafael Nadal finally wins the Paris Masters?
He may never have a better chance. But the three other remaining players in the draw have all reached Grand Slam finals, and have all been ranked in the top four.
Nadal started slowly against countrymen Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreño Busta in two of his three matches. But he’s gotten through.
Paris Masters Singles Semifinals Odds
| Rafael Nadal (ESP)||-2.5 (+115)||-175||O 22.5 (-115)|
| Alexander Zverev (GER)||+2.5 (-110)||+140||U 22.5 (-109)|
| Daniil Medvedev (RUS)||-2.5 (+102)||-200||O 23.5 (-105)|
| Milos Raonic (CAN)||+2.5 (-129)||+155||U 23.5 (-121)|
All odds taken Nov. 6 on DraftKings
 Rafael Nadal vs  Alexander Zverev
Nadal arrived at the Paris Masters knowing there was no way he could finish the season at No. 1. Novak Djokovic wrapped that up in Vienna last week.
But there is a Masters 1000 title at stake. It’s one he’s never won. And he hasn’t even made the final there since his debut in 2007.
The 34-year-old did reach a milestone. His opening win against Lopez was the 1,000th singles win of his ATP Tour career.
“It means I am old,” he joked afterwards.
Zverev Won the Last Meeting
Considering all of the off-court drama Zverev is dealing with this week (more on that here), he has looked relatively unperturbed on the court.
He survived a bruiser against tricky lefthander Adrian Mannarino in the third round, then won in straight sets against Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals Friday to set up the meet with Nadal.
He’s 1-5 against Nadal. But the last time they met – around this time a year ago, on an indoor hard court in the round-robin portion of the ATP Tour Finals – Zverev won easily.
Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev Head-to-Head
|34 (June 3, 1986)||Age||23 (April 20, 1997)|
|Manacor, Mallorca||Birthplace||Hamburg, Germany|
|86||Career ATP Singles Titles||13|
|No. 1 (Aug. 18, 2008)||Career High Ranking||No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017)|
|No. 2||Current Ranking||No. 7|
|25-4||2020 Won/Loss record (includes Paris)||26-8|
|$122,905,214||Career Prize Money||$22,817,860|
Paris Masters Court Suits Nadal Well
Milos Raonic referred to the Paris Masters centre court as medium-fast. But it has allowed for some lengthy rallies all week.
At the same time, it has rewarded a lot of players on serve. That includes Nadal, whose 16 aces in his win over Lopez were the second-highest total of his entire career in a best-of-three match.
With Zverev seemingly reluctant to push out of his comfort zone and get more aggressive, you’d favor Nadal in a good proportion of the lengthier rallies.
Pick: Nadal in two sets (+150)
2021 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
 Daniil Medvedev vs  Milos Raonic
As difficult an autumn as both Medvedev and Raonic have had, it’s a surprise both made in the final four.
For Raonic, it’s the 12th Masters 1000-level semifinal. But among active players, he has the biggest futility streak.
milos #raonic, who reached his 3rd bercy SF (after djokovic – 5 – and alongside federer, ferrer and isner is the player with most bercy Sf in last 10 year), collected his 12th 1000 SF. He’s now the second player with most 1000 Sf without a title after kafelnikov (18) pic.twitter.com/EWUsi5URIl
— Luca Brancher (@LucaBeck) November 6, 2020
The Russian was one of the favorites to win the tournament, right behind Nadal. Why? Who knows. He lost his Paris opener to Jérémy Chardy last year and had won just one match there in his career coming in.
Daniil Medvedev vs Milos Raonic Head-to-Head
|24 (Feb. 11, 1996)||Age||29 (Dec. 27, 1990)|
|Moscow, Russia||Birthplace||Podgorica, Montenegro|
|7||Career ATP Singles Titles||8|
|No. 4 (Sept. 9, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 3 (Nov. 21, 2016)|
|No. 5||Current Ranking||No. 17|
|21-10||2020 Won/Loss record (includes Paris)||23-8|
|$12,292,752||Career Prize Money||$19,724,141|
For Raonic, an abdominal injury in his opener in Antwerp scuttled his plans to play every week of this fall indoor season.
But he was able to get back for the Paris Masters.
He escaped a big hole in his quarterfinal Thursday against Ugo Humbert. Raonic was down 1-5 in the third-set tiebreak and saved two match points before winning it 8-6.
Medvedev Leads the Head-to-Head
The two have met twice before, and Medvedev won both at tournaments that were definitely in Raonic-friendly territory.
He beat the Canadian 7-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals in Tokyo two years ago, on an indoor hard court. And he won 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of Brisbane to open 2019.
Medvedev hasn’t faced a server of Raonic’s calibre in the tournament. But in his previous two matches against Raonic, he handled the monster serve well.
Raonic had 29 aces in Brisbane – and still lost.
On the return side, Raonic went 0-for-8 on break points against Medvedev’s serve in Brisbane. In the Tokyo match, he didn’t earn a single break-point opportunity.
Pick: Medvedev in three sets (+285)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.