Medvedev favourite ahead of match of the tournament
It was anticipated as soon as the draw was announced, and today that possibility becomes reality with Daniil Medvedev facing Nick Kyrgios in the undoubted match of the tournament so far.
At the time of writing, Medvedev is 3.412/5 to lift the trophy a week from today, with Kyrgios priced up as the 10.09/1 fourth favourite - but should the Australian repeat his recent win over Medvedev in Montreal then there's a decent chance he goes outright favourite.
That day, Kyrgios was priced around the 3.02/1 mark to win, and did so in three sets in an impressive serving display, being unbroken and winning almost 75% of service points. These 70%+ service points won numbers should give a clear template for Kyrgios success today - his top-level serve will need to fire consistently to put Medvedev under pressure.
Kyrgios' serve needing to fire
The pre-match market isn't taking any chances in that regard, making Kyrgios a current 2.6613/8 with Medvedev the 1.594/7 favourite, so you can also see quite how much of Medvedev's implied chance of winning the tournament from the outright market hinges on his result today.
On hard court this year, there's not a ton between the duo. Kyrgios has a slight edge on serve, with Medvedev a bigger one on return, but I think most regular tennis viewers know this, and that's why Medvedev is the favourite here. However, if Kyrgios brings his serve up to virtually unbreakable territory - and this is possible - then we could see an absolute epic here.
It feels like the rest of the day is something of a side dish to this main course, but there three further matches on the card worth running through, although all feature shorter-priced favourites than Medvedev is today.
Moutet hoping for Ruud fatigue
Casper Ruud is the shortest-priced, at 1.192/11for his clash against lucky loser Corentin Moutet, who has done very well to get to this stage and will surely see his ranking get back into the top 100 following this event.
There's a clear ability differential between the duo, so in my view this match really hinges on whether Ruud's win over Tommy Paul in round three, lasting just under four and a half hours, will have a fatigue-related impact if today's match lasts a long time. If it does have an impact, Ruud will no doubt rue going 7/18 on break point chances on return, and saving just 1/6 against the American.
Carreno-Busta-Busta justified as favourite
Finally, both priced around the 1.402/5 to 1.501/2 mark are Pablo Carreno-Busta and Matteo Berrettini, for their clashes against Karen Khachanov and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, respectively.
Carreno-Busta has been on an excellent run of late, winning the Montreal Masters a few weeks back, with three underdog wins in that event. His win over Alex De Minaur was also pretty solid in the last round, winning 55% of points against a strong opponent.
As for Khachanov, he's never really hit the heights that many thought he could and his inconsistencies this year are a good example of that - only once since February has he won three matches in a row in the same tournament. On hard court this year, Khachanov has a disadvantage on serve and return points won to Carreno-Busta, and so it's difficult to argue with the current market line.
Berrettini's serve should take care of proceedings
I'm also of the mindset that Berrettini will prove too consistent for the enigmatic Davidovich Fokina, with his serve likely to dictate matters. Having said that, the Spaniard's hard court numbers aren't disastrous at all and he can reach a high level event away from clay - the question is whether he can overturn the pre-match odds.
I think Berrettini is quite short-priced here, but if pushed I wouldn't be shocked if Davidovich Fokina can cover some form of game or set handicap.