Alcaraz faces Evans while title rivals struggle
Young prospects Arnaldi and Fils worth watching
Tsitsipas the pick on Monday
Medvedev exits as Sinner struggles
We saw the exit of Daniil Medvedev on Sunday in Shanghai with the world number three defeated in straight sets at the hands of Sebastian Korda. In theory, this should make Jannik Sinner's path to the final easier - the duo were scheduled to meet in the quarter-finals - although the Italian was far from convincing in a comeback three-set win over Sebastian Baez. The quick turnaround from the Beijing final looks to be an issue for the duo.
Evans facing tough Alcaraz match-up
Tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz in theory will also benefit from Medvedev's exit, and the Spaniard is a very strong favourite to repeat his US Open win over Dan Evans. In that high quality encounter, Evans did take a set and that would probably represent success for the Brit here as well.
Joining Alcaraz as strong market favourites are Taylor Fritz (against Diego Schwartzman) plus Andrey Rublev (versus Adrian Mannarino), but the rest of the Monday card looks competitive, which isn't always the case for round three in a Masters event.
Big market movement for Arnaldi after Beijing win over Wolf
An interesting match-up is Matteo Arnaldi versus JJ Wolf, with the Italian prospect a slight market favourite at 1.794/5 to make round four. The duo met several weeks ago in Beijing, where Arnaldi was the underdog and eased to a 2&2 victory, so the market has considerably adjusted from that meeting.
I think that the market movement is fairly justified given the level Arnaldi has shown of late but Wolf shouldn't be ruled out either. This shouldn't be as straightforward as that match in Beijing.
Fils already showing big potential
Another young player who is showing plenty of ability is Arthur Fils, and the Frenchman takes on Tommy Paul in one of the earlier matches on Monday. Paul is the 1.608/13 favourite to progress, but Fils has already shown on hard courts this year (indoor or outdoor) that his data is above the average player, which is very positive for his long-term career given he is just 19 years of age.
Fils already got a winner for us this week with a routine victory over Pavel Kotov in round one but faces a fairly sizable upgrade in opposition here against the 12th seed, who demolished Sebastian Ofner in his opener on Saturday. The market prices look about right to me, but it will be fascinating to see how Fils competes here having already beaten a top five player already in the early stages of his career.
Market over-reaction with Tsitsipas' price
The other match which caught my eye is Stefanos Tsitsipas against Ugo Humbert, with the fourth seed Tsitsipas at 1.625/8. This price is far bigger than their two hard court meetings in 2021, which were fairly competitive, but I think it's fair to suggest both players haven't been quite at the level they were then.
Tsitsipas has had a poor year but I can't help thinking this line is an over-reaction against the inconsistent Humbert, and this may be also due to the Frenchman beating Andrey Rublev and taking a set from Daniil Medvedev in Beijing recently.
With a winnable quarter of the draw, and the quick conditions benefiting his strong serve, Tsitsipas should be well motivated to succeed here and I think he should get the job done at what looks to be a slightly inflated price.