The second round of the Rothesay International will be played out in full on what is expected to be a monster hot day at Devonshire Park at Eastbourne, where places in the quarter final of the ATP 250 competition are up for grabs.
We’ve had to wait a while for the big seeds to come to the party this week but all four begin their campaign over the course of the play on Wednesday which immediately adds to the profile of an event which is bubbling along nicely.
There are two matches in the ATP draw on Wednesday and one of them opens the show as the number one seed Cameron Norrie goes in search of what would be a first win on grass this season when he takes on the American qualifier Brandon Nakashima. A couple of women’s matches follow that and then the British wildcard Jack Draper will be back on centre stage. He takes on the fourth seed Diego Schwartzman, who is an outsider in the contest despite his much higher ranking.
There are a couple of matches from the men’s draw on the secondary court on Wednesday and it is British interest that comes along in the first of them as Dan Evans steps onto the court. He will have to wait for a women’s match to finish but when it has done he’ll go in search of a quarter final spot when he takes on Maxime Cressy. The other match sees the number two seed Jannik Sinner returning to action when he takes on another American in Tommy Paul.
The opening match of the two on Court 2 on Wednesday is a repeat of the final of 12 months ago as the champion Alex de Minaur looks to continue his title defence against the man that he beat in that championship match in Lorenzo Sonego. The second of the two games sees the number three seed and former Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz taking to the court for the first time this week. He has a meeting with the Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro who had an appealing win over Ugo Humbert in the previous round.
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The final two matches take place on Court 4 on Wednesday but not before a couple of women’s matches get played. When the men do get onto the court the enigmatic Alexander Bublik will be looking to reach a quarter final when he meets the qualifier John Millman, who is probably dining out on that win over Roger Federer at the US Open a few years ago than anything he’s done recently. The British wildcard Ryan Peniston will go in search of fourth quarter final in four grass events this season when he faces Pedro Martinez.
This isn’t the easiest day of action to bet on in fairness. There is a thought process that the top four seeds are vulnerable here because they are facing players who have won at least one match this week and potentially more if they face a qualifier. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that but when the draw was made I was always looking to take Jannik Sinner on and Tommy Paul will do just fine as a player to take the Italian on with.
Paul might not be the most naturally suited to a grass court but he won a couple of matches at Queens last week before he lost to the eventual champion Matteo Berrettini and he has already had a decent enough win over Francisco Cerundolo this week. There is a lot of talk about the courts being slightly slower this week which will do Paul no harm. Sinner hasn’t played since withdrawing from the French Open with injury and he still hasn’t won a main draw match on grass. You would imagine he’s out here to test his fitness ahead of Wimbledon and I expect him to be picked off by a Paul who might not be naturally suited to grass but who is at least acclimatised to it.
Back T.Paul to beat J.Sinner for a 3/10 stake at 2.38 with William Hill
Back him here: