Murray opens against Safiullin
Wawrinka expected to get past Lajovic
Rinderknech the pick on day one
Lower-profile round one in Shanghai
16 matches take place on day one in Shanghai, although seeded players won't start their tournaments until at least Friday - and several are still competing in Beijing, with the packed schedule showing little mercy towards top players.
Another battle in prospect for Murray
So, we have several days of lower-profile action to start the event, although there are some veteran Slam winners in action on the opening day, with Andy Murray facing Roman Safiullin and Stan Wawrinka in action against Dusan Lajovic.
The duo met once last year, with Murray battling to a three-set win as a slight pre-match favourite, but the odds are reversed for this, with the Scotsman currently trading as a 2.206/5 underdog to make round two.
Three defeats in his last four have arguably influenced the market's opinion of Murrays' chances, but the last two were against competent opposition and in deciding sets, and a 3-6 7-5 6-7 loss to Alex De Minaur - albeit a bad-tempered one - is far from a disgrace.
Safiullin has picked up some decent results of late, reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals and final in Chengdu, albeit not really beating anyone of particular note (no top 15 opponents). This year on hard court, there isn't much at all between the two players from a data perspective, so Murray certainly has possibilities of progression.
Wawrinka and Kecmanovic expected to progress
As for Wawrinka, he's a solid favourite at 1.422/5 over the Serbian clay-courter, Lajovic, who has lost three of four since he retired in Cincinnati in mid-August. It's been eight years since the duo last met, but hard court data - with Wawrinka much better on return this year - suggests that the market has accurately priced up the chances of Wawrinka extending his head-to-head lead to 3-0.
Moving on, Miomir Kecmanovic has struggled of late but did take a set from Alexander Zverev in Chengdu recently and should get back to winning ways on Wednesday. The Serb faces the unheralded wild card Bu Yunchaokete, who has struggled even at Challenger level in general.
Yunchaokete has been defeated a number of times by opposition ranked outside the top 200 (and often even lower-ranked) of late, and it will be interesting to see how he can cope with the step up against a much higher calibre of opposition.
Rinderknech favoured to oppose Marozsan
Finally, Arthur Rinderknech should enjoy the quicker conditions likely in Shanghai more than opponent Fabian Marozsan. Last week in Astana, Marozsan lost to opposition ranked outside the top 300, and the Hungarian tends to do his best work on clay courts - not fast hard courts. In fact, Marozsan has barely deviated from clay courts this year in terms of tournaments entered.
Rinderknech has shown a far higher level than his opponent on hard court, with wins over Marcos Giron and Matteo Berrettini of late, and taking a set off Andrey Rublev at the US Open. He also did well on grass - in quick conditions again - this summer, reaching the Mallorca quarter-finals and almost beating Carlos Alcaraz at Queens Club. Rinderknech is today's pick at 1.68/13.