Djokovic fails to inspire in win over Etcheverry
Alcaraz among numerous heavy favourites today
Medvedev facing another clay struggle
Favourites dominate with Friday victories
It was largely business as usual for heavy favourites on Friday with the likes of Cameron Norrie, Holger Rune and Casper Ruud all easing to wins.
Novak Djokovic also ended up a straight-set winner, but far from had it all his own way against the Argentine, Tomas Etcheverry, who had his chances to win the first set at least. Certainly, this wasn't the dominant display that Djokovic's outright backers will have hoped for after his return to tour from an elbow injury and it will be a potentially bigger test against Grigor Dimitrov in round three tomorrow.
We also picked up another solid winner as Christian Garin extended Tommy Paul's miserable clay record with a fightback victory, so we continue into more second round action in good heart after a decent start to the tournament.
Fritz justified favourite over Hanfmann
Moving on to today's round two matches, this sees the start of the event for remaining seeds who had opening round byes, so this includes the likes of Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz.
On a day where there are plenty of heavy pre-match favourites, most of the quintet also fall under that status, although Fritz is slightly bigger priced for his clash with qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, and to a lesser extent, Medvedev versus Emil Ruusuvuori.
I think most will know that clay really isn't Fritz's favoured surface, although he's done fairly well versus expectations this year with a win over Stefanos Tsitsipas plus a number of victories in the 1.501/2 to 1.705/7 price range. The real negative was a final set tiebreak loss to Zhizhen Zhang in Madrid, on Zhang's random run to the latter stages.
Fritz starts in that price range again today against Hanfmann, currently trading at 1.538/15, and even though these conditions will suit Hanfmann more, it's going to be a big ask for the German.
Hanfmann has had a mixed bag of results on clay this year, but victories have rarely come over top 50 opposition, and a win over Tommy Paul on clay doesn't count for much anyway. Throw in some opponent quality adjustments and it's hard to dispute market lines.
Medvedev vulnerable against Ruusuvuori
As for Medvedev, his distaste for slow conditions isn't a secret to most. However, despite this, he's 1.321/3 for his meeting with Emil Ruusuvuori, a price which is barely any bigger than when they met on indoor hard court towards the end of last season.
Ruusuvuori hasn't had a huge impact on clay this year either, but has picked up a few half-decent wins, and there's signs he's finally getting more comfortable on the main tour with a quarter-final showing in Miami six weeks ago. Medvedev's loss to countryman Aslan Karatsev in Madrid last week was a surprise, given that conditions were far quicker in the Spanish capital.
It's a stretch to have Medvedev at this price on clay against any competent opposition, and Ruusuvuori +4.5 games should settle around the 1.84/5 mark in line with general market pricing.
Evans facing Marrakech repeat against Carballes Baena
Finally, another player not particularly a fan of clay is Dan Evans, with the Brit facing a repeat of his Marrakech semi-final against Roberto Carballes Baena a month ago. That day, Evans lost in three sets as a slight underdog, and there's not a huge departure in market pricing from that recent meeting.
Carballes Baena ended up winning that tournament, and should be more comfortable in these conditions. Evans as an underdog looks about right to me here.