Alcaraz and Djokovic co-favourites for the title
Djokovic going for 20th win over Monfils
Medvedev should have too much for Zverev
Shock results again on Wednesday night
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev were the headline winners on Wednesday in Cincinnati, easing through to join pre-tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz in the last 16, which takes place today from 16:00 UK time.
However, not joining the trio who lead the outright market is Jannik Sinner - ousted by Dusan Lajovic - plus Casper Ruud (three-set loss to Max Purcell) and Holger Rune, who retired a set and break down to Mackenzie McDonald.
That's far from ideal preparation for the US Open for the latter two top 10 players. You can forgive Sinner following his title in Toronto last week.
Market wary of repeat loss for Alcaraz v Paul
The tournament winner market cannot split Alcaraz and Djokovic (both at 3.1511/5 for the title at the time of writing), while Daniil Medvedev 5.79/2 is a clear third favourite with all other contenders in double-digit pricing or greater.
Based on current market pricing, we are looking at around a 75-80% implied odds chance that the title winner will come from the three market leaders.
To continue his tournament, Alcaraz must defeat Tommy Paul, which he failed to do last week at the Rogers Cup. The world number one lost 3-6 6-4 3-6 to the American, and his price has risen from 1.201/5 last week to a current 1.3130/100 this week, as the market reacts to that defeat in Canada.
Djokovic and Medvedev with continued success over opponents
Novak Djokovic is heavy favourite to end Gael Monfils' journey this week and history suggesting that the Serbian will do so, having defeated the veteran Frenchman 19 times out of 19 when they've played each other in their professional careers.
Under a little more pressure in terms of market expectation is Daniil Medvedev, who is 1.548/15 to progress at the expense of Alexander Zverev. The duo have met 16 times already with Medvedev 10-6 up and having won nine of the 10 clashes since the start of 2020, so Zverev will be needing to overturn history himself if he is to pick up an underdog win.
Hard court data suggests that this match is Medvedev's to lose and in my view there are worse spots to back a pre-match favourite than Medvedev here.
Tsitsipas facing another high-variance match-up
It will be fascinating also to see how Stefanos Tsitsipas 1.558/15 deals with the threat posed by Hubert Hurkacz. The Greek has won six of the eight times they've met on the main tour but Hurkacz hasn't made life easy, with six of their last seven decided in the final set and the other by a tiebreak.
So, after Tsitsipas needed to ride the variance train yesterday with two tiebreaks against Ben Shelton, he could well be required to do so again here against another competent server. Hurkacz poses more threat on return than Shelton.
In other matches, I would be surprised if Mackenzie Mcdonald was unable to see off Adrian Mannarino, but the market line looks fairly reasonable.
I also like the chances of Stan Wawrinka keeping his run here going with a win over Max Purcell, who has done well to get to this stage having gone through qualifiers. Both McDonald and Wawrinka are priced around the 1.608/13 mark to win.