The second round continues at the Cincinnati Masters on Wednesday with 14 matches on the schedule today. Returning to preview the action is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"De Minaur's record on hard court over the last year is much more impressive and he fought back from an opening set bagel against Filip Krajinovic to get past the Serb in three sets in round one."
Russian duo of Rublev and Medvedev heavy favourites to progress
Most of the seeded players with first-round byes get their tournaments started today, with the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all in action for their opening matches.
Rublev faces Marin Cilic today after the Croatian got past Aslan Karatsev yesterday, but this should be the end of the road for Cilic, with Rublev a step up and the market agrees, pricing up the Russian at 1.292/7. Fellow Russian, Medvedev, is an even shorter-priced favourite, being just 1.132/15 against the American wild-card, Mackenzie McDonald. Both prices look broadly correct.
If there are to be upsets from the big-name quartet, I think it will come via the latter duo. As I discussed in yesterday's preview, Zverev could be tested by Lloyd Harris in their delayed clash, while Sebastian Korda is a young player of huge upside and it will be fascinating to see how Tsitsipas fares against the young American. Both players are priced around the 1.3030/100 mark.
Expect tiebreaks in matches featuring big-servers
There are a couple of spots which I quite like though, today, both from a match winner perspective and also from a side market point of view. In the anticipated fairly quick conditions, the clash between Casper Ruud and the big-server, Reilly Opelka, has a high likelihood of tiebreaks with my model indicating this should be around a 60% chance for a first-set tiebreaker. The Sportsbook is offering 6/4 on over 12.5 games in set 1, which looks like a decent spot.
Jannik Sinner against John Isner should also be pretty tight with few break point opportunities, and while Sinner's dynamic should ensure it's a little less serve-orientated than Ruud v Opelka, there's plenty of scope for tiebreaks too. Sinner is the favourite, at 1.674/6, which looks a touch generous.
De Minaur the pick over inconsistent Monfils
For today's pick, however, Alex De Minaur looks big at 1.9520/21 for his clash with Gael Monfils, who despite getting a couple of wins in the last week or so, has poor numbers this year and still hasn't beaten a player of any particular note of late. De Minaur's record on hard court over the last year is much more impressive and he fought back from an opening set bagel against Filip Krajinovic to get past the Serb in three sets in round one.
Despite the opening set bagel, De Minaur still won more points in the match and I think he should be a pretty solid favourite for this clash, and he's today's recommendation.
Murray facing big step up from win over Gasquet
In other matches, I think Felix Auger-Aliassime is a little under-rated by the market at 2.466/4 for his meeting with Karen Khachanov, while Andy Murray is a heavy underdog at 3.90 for his match versus Hubert Hurkacz. Murray got past Richard Gasquet in his opener but Hurkacz, who reached the semi-final of Wimbledon and won the Miami Masters this year, is a huge step up over the veteran Frenchman, and the market looks like they've got that price right.
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