Medvedev and Ruud could be tested
Marozsan the pick on day five
Impressive Safiullin favoured over Shelton
Rain plays havoc with Saturday schedule
Plenty of round two matches on Saturday in Shanghai didn't conclude, with rain scuppering the day's card. This includes our Saturday pick Frances Tiafoe versus Lorenzo Sonego, which was suspended on serve in set three. Cam Norrie is another player who needs to complete set three, although the Brit is a break up in what would be a fightback win over JJ Wolf.
Prior to this, though, there were routine wins for Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, although Taylor Fritz was tested, scraping through in three sets against Yosuke Watanuki.
Given the rain delays, we've already covered the second round matches so this preview will focus on round three clashes, eight matches which take place in the bottom half of the draw. These generally take place a little later on the Sunday schedule, after the delayed round two match-ups.
Medvedev could be tested by Korda
Out of these, there is anticipated to be easy wins for Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner, although Daniil Medvedev could well be tested by the talented Sebastian Korda in what looks the match of the day. Korda has already beaten Medvedev in a Slam, at the Australian Open in January, and the market prices are pretty much identical today to then, with Medvedev currently at 1.241/4.
Both players lost in finals in the last round of events although Medvedev's turnaround has been much less generous, which could play into Korda's favour. Medvedev was unable to dominate Korda in serve that day in Melbourne, with Korda the much more aggressive player - he hit almost double the winners of Medvedev - and it will be interesting to see if the American can get joy by taking a similar approach here. Medvedev does look a little short-priced here, although nothing absurd.
Eubanks can compete against Ruud
Another top ten player who could be tested is Casper Ruud at 1.341/3 against Chris Eubanks, if Eubanks can serve well and take advantage of the quick conditions. Ruud has had an uninspiring few months post-French Open, where he reached the final, failing to particularly impress on either grass or hard court.
So, a meeting with a serve-oriented player on quick hard court is unlikely to be something Ruud will relish, and if Eubanks can draw him into a high-variance match, an underdog win shouldn't be written off. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Eubanks kept this close at the very least.
Marozsan capable of ousting Lajovic
Moving on, two players more comfortable on clay would be Dusan Lajovic and Fabian Marozsan, who meet for a place in round four. Lajovic has shown in the past that he's capable of big wins and random runs in big events - for example Cincinnati this year, Madrid last year and Monte Carlo in 2019, when he reached the final, and a fourth round spot here would add to that list.
Marozsan has impressed so far here with two underdog wins, and the young Hungarian is on an upward curve right now, having essentially halved his ranking this year. The thing I like about Marozsan's chances here is that we know from his career that Lajovic is pretty limited on hard court (97% combined service/return points won on the surface in his career) whereas while Marozsan lacks data on the surface, he has a higher ceiling. When I saw the Sunday lines, Marozsan at 1.804/5 stood out, and it continues to do so.
Safiullin continues to impress
Finally, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Roman Safiullin was able to overturn his ranking deficit against Ben Shelton at 1.794/5. Shelton's ranking is derived largely from several runs in big tournaments and I've been very impressed with Safiullin this week, having disposed of Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev with ease, backing up that final in Chengdu several weeks ago.
However, the market has adjusted to this well and Safiullin looks the justified favourite against the higher-ranked player here.