The opening day of the National Bank Open in Toronto on Monday sees the majority of the first round of the tournament being played as the first Masters 1000 event of the summer gets up and running in the Canadian city.
The action all takes place on three courts out in Toronto and while we have to wait for later in the tournament for the big eight seeds to come to the party, the opening day is full of home hopes and potential challengers.
We begin with one of those home players on the Center Court on Monday when the wildcard Alexis Galarneau looks to be the first person to win through to the second round on the main court when he opens up the day session against Francisco Cerundolo. When they are done the day session will conclude with the former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini taking on the competent French player Gregoire Barrere. Two matches take place in the night session with the first of those seeing the home ace Milos Raonic meeting Frances Tiafoe before the final match on the Center Court sees another home wildcard in Vasek Pospisil taking on the Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi.
We have a really good schedule over on the Grandstand court where five first round matches take place and it begins with Lorenzo Musetti meeting the Japanese number one Yoshihito Nishioka before Alejandro Davidovich Fokina looks to move into the second round at the expense of the American player J.J Wolf. The third match on the court looks to be the pick of the games as Alexander Bublik goes up against the finalist of this event last year in Hubert Hurkacz. The penultimate match of a busy day on the Grandstand sees Gael Monfils looking to continue his comeback when he meets the Mallorca champion Christopher Eubanks and the action on this court is closed by Tommy Paul who meets Diego Schwartzman.
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Four matches make up what certainly isn’t a terrible schedule over on Court 1 as well and we begin with Brandon Nakashima going up against the Czech rising star Jiri Lehecka before Zhizhen Zhang looks to continue his rise up the rankings when he meets Thanasi Kokkinakis who came through qualifying to be here. The penultimate match of the day on this part of the complex sees Adrian Mannarino taking on the Japanese player Taro Daniel before we conclude play on this court with the qualifier Cristian Garin going up against the Serbian player Miomir Kecmanovic.
I’ll start the week a little slowly as we assess the runners and riders on the hard courts but there is a bet I like over on Court 1 which is the closing match of the day as the qualifier Cristian Garin takes on a Miomir Kecmanovic who is the epitome of inconsistency this season. The big problem I have with the Serbian is this will be his first hard court match of the summer as he chased the wins on clay after Wimbledon. The other problem I have with him is he has never won a match in this tournament and this sort of preparation might be why.
Cristian Garin has improved so much on a hard court this year. In the past it might have been a surprise for him to qualify for an event like this but now that isn’t the case. He had excellent runs in Indian Wells and Miami earlier in the year and actually comes into this match with a 14-5 record on this surface in 2023. These two met in Madrid earlier in the season and Garin won and we know that Garin has the tools to operate much higher in the rankings than he currently is, so with the benefit of a couple of wins on a hard court behind him coming in here, I think the Chilean should be a touch shorter than the 5/6 we can get on him to win.
Back C.Garin to beat M.Kecmanovic for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with BetVictor
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