With the exception of the one match which was played out on Tuesday night, the entire second round of the National Bank Open takes place out in Toronto on Wednesday on what looks a very good order of play.
This means that the seeded players yet to get their campaign underway will do so on Wednesday on a day where we should be treated to some excellent tennis from some of the best players in the world.
Once again we have four matches on the main court and it is the home star Milos Raonic who will be first to grace it on Wednesday. He will look to build on his good win over Frances Tiafoe in the first round when he meets the Japanese player Taro Daniel before the day session concludes with potentially the tie of the round as Stefanos Tsitsipas begins his quest to build on his win in Mexico last week when he takes on the entertaining Gael Monfils. In the night session the number one player in the world opens up the show when Carlos Alcaraz meets Ben Shelton before we conclude the action on the Center Court with Holger Rune facing Marcos Giron.
As has been the case all week we have five matches over on the Grandstand court with the first of those seeing the Atlanta champion Taylor Fritz on show. He will meet the French player Ugo Humbert for a place in the last 16 before the second seed Daniil Medvedev starts his campaign against the Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi. Alexander Zverev came through an awkward looking opening match to set up a clash with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina which is the third onto the court. The penultimate match sees two more Italians on show when Matteo Berrettini goes up against Jannik Sinner before Tommy Paul is given the opportunity to close out the show when he meets Francisco Cerundolo.
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Court 1 & 4
Another five matches take place on Court 1 on a busy day of action on Wednesday. Andrey Rublev is the first seeded player on show on this court when he takes on Mackenzie McDonald before Miomir Kecmanovic meets the beaten finalist of a year ago in Hubert Hurkacz. Alex de Minaur was beaten in the final in Mexico last week but beat Cameron Norrie in the first round and he’ll face the home wildcard Gabriel Diallo in the middle match on this court. Andy Murray is now the sole British player remaining in the draw and he’ll look to stay afloat at the expense of Max Purcell, who took care of Felix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday night. The last match on this court sees Sebastian Korda facing the lucky loser Aleksandar Vukic, who has already made the most of his second chance in the event. That leaves one match to be played and it comes out on Court 4 where Lorenzo Musetti takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Max Purcell did us a decent turn on Tuesday evening and I think the 4.5 games he is in receipt of in his match against Andy Murray on Wednesday is one too big if not more. When these two met in their only previous meeting in Newport last year, Purcell took Murray to a deciding set and I would argue the Australian is a much better player now that he is taking singles more seriously and on these hard courts he has the weapons to punch holes into the Murray defence.
It is impossible not to completely respect the return of Murray after all his surgeries but at ATP Tour level he hasn’t won successive matches in the same event since Indian Wells way back in March and he is having to back up after a 2hr+ match against Sonego on Tuesday. I wouldn’t be surprised if Murray snaps that record of not winning twice in an event at this level but I would be surprised if he wins this going away against a player who served brilliantly against Felix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday and who should get openings on the Murray serve.
Back M.Purcell (+4.5 games) to beat A.Murray for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with BetVictor