This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The remainder of the Round of 32 is on the schedule Wednesday from the fast-paced hard courts of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. This will be the first action of the tournament for top-eight seeds, who had first-round byes, while all the other players had to win a main draw match to get to this point. Wednesday's action includes a battle between two British men at vastly different points in their respective careers, a former world No. 1 on the women's side who makes for an enticing underdog, and intriguing matches involving Americans in both draws. All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel, BetMGM or Caesars.
Both the men's and women's matches at this event will be best of three sets, and the hard courts in Cincinnati are usually among the fastest found at big hard court tournaments. A mix of players' previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
These guys are intimately familiar with each other's games since they play doubles together, but that doesn't mean Hurkacz will have any easier of a time returning Isner's gargantuan serve. Break points -- let alone breaks of serve -- will be hard to come by, and anything can happen in a match that's likely to come down to just a few crucial points in each set. Isner has won both of their previous encounters in straight sets, including two years ago at this very tournament, so belief shouldn't be a problem for the 50th-ranked American despite facing a player ranked 40 spots ahead of him.
Muguruza's having a down year, but the former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion certainly has the talent to take out the recent Wimbledon champ here. The Spaniard's actually ranked 16 spots ahead of No. 25 Rybakina, though Rybakina would have significantly more ranking points if those hadn't been stripped from Wimbledon this year. Muguruza should be able to play more freely in a match she isn't expected to win, and her recent poor results have been attributed predominantly to the mental side of the game, so this could be a situation that brings out Muguruza's vintage form.
Lock It In
This match could come to be viewed as a passing of the torch in British tennis, as Norrie's really coming into his own in 2022 while Murray's clearly on his last legs. Both players were pushed deep into a third set in the opening round, but Norrie struggling against one of the game's most talented youngsters in Holger Rune is more understandable than Murray being outplayed for much of the match by fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka, who has won just three matches all year. Murray also struggled with cramps in the third set against Wawrinka on Monday, so it's fair to wonder if he'll be fully recovered physically for this clash with the 11th-ranked recent Wimbledon semifinalist.
Kostyuk overcame a third-set deficit to escape with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 first-round win over Camila Giorgi, but the 20-year-old Ukrainian's still just 4-6 over her last 10 matches. Meanwhile, the seventh-seeded Pegula has been cranking out deep runs consistently, reaching the semifinals or better in three of her last four WTA 1000 events. Pegula has proven adept at absorbing and redirecting power, and while Kostyuk's a big hitter, a lack of consistency off the ground has dropped her ranking down to No. 74.
Shapovalov's first-round win over Grigor Dimitrov was only the second win for the Canadian in his last 11 matches. That was an encouraging result, but it's too early to declare the streaky Shapovalov's slump over, while Paul's playing the best tennis of his career at the moment. After knocking off Carlos Alcaraz and Marin Cilic en route to the quarterfinals of last week's Canadian Open, Paul added another impressive result to his ledger Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-2 first-round win over a tricky opponent in fellow American Jenson Brooksby.
Auger-Aliassime played probably his worst match of the year in last week's loss to Casper Ruud, but the seventh-seeded Canadian should bounce back in his first action since against a player he should beat more often than not. De Minaur gets the most out of his game, but he simply has less firepower than Auger-Aliassime. Especially on the fast Cincinnati courts, FAA's big serve and powerful groundstrokes should allow him to take control against the counterpunching and scrambling of de Minaur in their first meeting on the pro tour.