Numerous heavy favourites on the Saturday card
Tiafoe the pick over Sonego
Norrie needing to turn around poor run
Big names exit on day three
It was a disastrous day for high ranked players and strong favourites on Friday with Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti exiting in straight sets while Felix Auger-Aliassime also exited at the hands of Marton Fucsovics.
Further, Holger Rune was thrashed 0 & 2 by Brandon Nakashima, making it six defeats in his last seven for the Dane after reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.
The likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner will be keen to avoid the same issues as they start their tournament on Saturday, and all should in theory be able to progress without too many difficulties.
In fact, nine matches feature favourites priced up at 1.330/100 or below, illustrating that a fairly one-sided schedule is on the cards as round two concludes.
Tsitsipas in for tougher test than previously against Hijikata
Stefanos Tsitsipas is another big name who will be looking to ease through to round three, and he faces the Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata. Tsitsipas dropped just five games in three sets when they previously met at the Australian Open earlier this year, but Hijikata has better than halved his ranking since then and looks a better player now.
Having reached the fourth round of the US Open, and a Challenger Tour final of late, Hijikata should go into this with a reasonable amount of confidence. However, I'd be keener on the chances of a shock - Tsitsipas is 1.261/4 - if Hijikata was more serve-oriented and therefore able to turn the match into a high-variance encounter.
Tiafoe with edge over Sonego
Moving on to some of the matches which the market feels should be more competitive, Frances Tiafoe has the market edge at 1.645/8 over Lorenzo Sonego, a price which is a fair bit higher than their previous meeting in March in Miami when Tiafoe was 1.42/5.
The American has had a good year in general but hasn't been hugely impressive since the grass season, losing as a favourite in every tournament he's entered post-Wimbledon.
The quarter-final defeat at the US Open to countryman Ben Shelton will have hurt, and it's worth noting that Tiafoe's four wins in New York were hardly against high-calibre opposition. However, he did beat Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets at the Laver Cup, which is a positive.
Opponent Sonego has hardly lit up the tour either - we have to go back to June to find his last underdog win - and since the French Open he is 7-10, with a fair chunk of his wins coming against opposition ranked around or outside the top 100.
A look at the duo's numbers on hard court this year suggests Tiafoe has a fair edge both on serve and return, and these suggest he should be priced at more like 1.454/9, much closer to that line in Miami. The winner can set up a very winnable third-round match so this is a great opportunity for both to get towards the latter stages of a Masters tournament.
Norrie vulnerable to Wolf attack
Continuing, I really like the progress of the Italian prospect Matteo Arnaldi, and he looks a very justified favourite at 1.674/6 against Jan-Lennard Struff. The German hasn't played much since the grass season and Arnaldi, who has had a number of underdog wins on hard court across the last couple of months.
One of those was against Cam Norrie, who has had a really tough few months, going 4-7 from the start of July onwards, with all of the four wins coming against mediocre opposition as a 1.251/4 favourite or below.
With that form line, JJ Wolf represents a tough test for the Brit, and while Norrie has better hard court data this year, it's factored in to the market price of 1.584/7. Backing Norrie probably isn't for the faint-hearted right now.