A solid week one of the 2022 US Open ended on a high note on Sunday when the first of my big-priced picks landed as Karen Khachanov beat Pablo Carreno Busta and Casper Ruud beat Corentin Moutet, with both players winning a set.
The remaining spots in the quarter finals of the men's singles at the 2022 US Open are up for grabs on Monday, with Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz among the stars on show in New York on day eight.
The weather is forecast to break soon in Flushing, with 30mm of rain expected over the next two days, as the dial dips down to 21C by Tuesday, with another humid day expected on Monday.
It looks like the worst of the rain will be on Tuesday, though, with some rain possible from about 5pm local time today, so perhaps the roofs on Ashe and Armstrong will be called into play tonight.
Based on the way that the match-up has unfolded between Carlos Alcaraz and Marin Cilic so far on hard courts I'd be surprised if the veteran Croat was able to get particularly close to the young Spaniard.
Alcaraz has beaten Cilic pretty comfortably in both of this season's hard court matches - one in favourable slow conditions for Alcaraz in Miami and the other in quicker conditions in Cincy a few weeks ago.
Indeed, Alcaraz should have won in Cincy more comfortably than he did, having failed to serve out set one at 5-4, and after he'd taken it on a breaker he raced away with set two and I'm not sure Cilic can live with Alcaraz on anything other than his absolute peak form.
Cilic has only held serve 75% of the time in those two matches against Alcaraz on hard, while the Spaniard has been untouchable on serve, holding 95% of the time and winning 81% on first serve and 60% on second serve.
It's going to need a massive improvement from Cilic to turn this around
It's only two matches, so a small set of stats to work with, but Alcaraz has a combined service points won/return points won total of 116 against Cilic, with the Croat back on just 84.
And it's not as if Cilic didn't make many first serves in those two matches: he made 70% of them, but won only 65% of those points and just 43% on his second ball, so it's going to need a massive improvement from Cilic to turn this around.
There were doubts for me over Alcaraz coming into this tournament, but he looked back at his best in crushing Jenson Brooksby in round three and unless Cilic has one of his occasional great days Alcaraz should win with a bit to spare on the form of the Brooksby match.
So, for leg one of a double for Monday I'll take Alcaraz to cover a -5.5 game handicap at 1.834/5.
Tiafoe can test Nadal out early on
The second leg on Sunday will be to take over 10.5 games in set one of Frances Tiafoe's match against Rafael Nadal.
I was happy to take Tiafoe on a couple of days ago at what I still think was a very short price against Diego Schwartzman and had the latter not choked multiple times from 5-2 up in set one I suspect we may have had a different outcome.
Tiafoe pretty much admitted it himself, saying: "that first set was everything today and if I didn't get that done it would have been a tough day."
He added that he was about to cramp in his after-match speech, which is a concern after a three-set match, but the cooler conditions will help Tiafoe in that regard when he faces Nadal.
As much as I was happy to take Tiafoe on as a 1.558/15 chance versus Schwartzman I'm switching sides this time, with Tiafoe, for me, much happier in the role of underdog against the elite players.
If the roof is closed on Ashe that will take the wind out of the picture and allow this aggressive shot-maker the chance to swing for the lines a bit more and we'll see what Nadal can do about it in conditions that probably won't favour the Spaniard.
Rafa prefers the sun on his back to allow his heavy top spin to kick the ball up on opponents and lots of humidity in the air isn't ideal for that.
Tiafoe is sure to come out fired up for this one and I'm still not sure where Nadal is at right now after just a few matches played since his muscle tear at Wimbledon.
Richard Gasquet was never likely to throw off the mental cage that Nadal has the Frenchman in and so it proved in the last round, but Tiafoe won't fear Nadal and he's gone 4-4 win/loss versus top-10 opponents in the last 14 months or so.
I like the over 10.5 games in set one here at 3.4012/5 to make a double on the day at odds of 6.23.