ATP TIPS: We’ve reached the quarter-finals of the ATP Tour event in Montreal and with top speed Daniil Medvedev and second seed Carlos Alcaraz departing early doors, this year’s renewal has a somewhat open feel to it with only two seeded players left standing.

Kyrgios to keep marching on

Is there a more in-form player in tennis at the moment than Nick Kyrgios? Probably not in all honesty. The Australian is playing some of the best tennis of his unique career so far and having reached the final at Wimbledon, despite some ‘interesting’ on-court moments, he went one better on his next start in Washington. He dropped just one set on route to victory in the ATP Tour 500 event and seems to be gaining more and more confidence with every match he plays.

Despite the win in Washington, though, he began his week in Montreal as the big underdog against world number one and defending champion Medvedev, who like his Australian opponent was coming in after a tournament win, this time in Los Cabos in Mexico. And things looked bleak for Kyrgios after an error-strewn tie-break saw him lose the first set, however, as is perhaps befitting of this new and improved Kyrgios, he stormed back superbly with a mix of big serving and great work at the net unsettling the Russian. And as the Aussie grew in confidence, the Russian didn’t with Kyrgios eventually winning it in three sets.

He had much fewer issues against Alex de Minaur in the round of 16 dropping just five games and it’s unsurprising that given his current purple patch, he’s just 1.4 to win this one.

In Hurkacz he takes on a player some 27 spots higher in the world rankings. The Pole was victorious in Halle this year, where among others he beat Kyrgios, but since then he’s lost his opening match at both Wimbledon and Washington, so he’ll have been delighted to get through his opening two matches this week. He’s clearly not quite at the top of his game as he’s had to battle to win both contests in three sets, but he’ll take great heart from getting through them.

As mentioned, he beat the Australian the last time they played which was their first and only encounter so far, so there’s plenty to suggest a price of 3.4 might offer some value.

Given the form Kyrgios is in, it’s hard to look past him here. Hurkacz will be happy to have got a couple of wins under his belt, but he’s probably a few notches off his best at the moment and with the Aussie riding the crest of the wave at the moment, he’s fancied to advance. It might also be worth considering backing over 22.5 games at 1.58 here. Both of these are very big servers and there’s likely to be few break points on offer, so expect to see at least one tie break played making that figure looking more than likely.

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Casper in for a Ruud awakening

Since reaching the final of the French Open, Ruud had struggled to find his best stuff, but bounced back to form with a win at the ATP 250 event in Gstaad. He dropped just one set on his way to victory in Switzerland – further evidence of his liking for the clay surface.

He opened up his hard court season with an easy win over Alex Molcan before getting through a potentially tricky encounter with Roberto Bautista Agut in the last 16. That set him up for this one versus Auger-Aliassime for which he’s the outsider at 2.42.

His Canadian opponent started 2022 in fine style winning two of his first three tournaments and reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in between, but has failed to sustain it. He reached the final in Marseille where he lost to Andrey Rublev in mid-February but since then the best he’s managed his two semi-final appearances. He has looked better in Montreal this week, though, with two impressive straight sets wins over Yoshihito Nishioka and Cameron Norrie and on the back of those he’s the favourite against Ruud at 1.7.

This looks a hard match to call on paper with both fairly well-matched, though on this surface Auger-Aliassime looks a worthy favourite. On clay, you’d probably prefer Ruud but on hard courts, the Canadian’s game appears better suited as shown by their only other meeting on this surface which he won in Miami in 2019.

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