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Ricky’s picks for Day 4 in Toronto, including Alcaraz vs. Hurkacz

Carlos Alcaraz will continue his National Bank Open campaign when he goes up against Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday night. A full schedule of third-round action also includes Jannik Sinner vs. Andy Murray.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz vs. (15) Hubert Hurkacz

Alcaraz may be the No. 1 seed at the Toronto Masters, but the draw did not do him any favors. The reigning Wimbledon champion faced fellow 20-year-old Ben Shelton on Wednesday night; he won in straight sets, but it wasn’t easy. Now Alcaraz has to get past Hurkacz just to reach the quarterfinals. Hurkacz finished runner-up at the National Bank Open last summer in Montreal.

With one victory under his belt and an even more dangerous opponent on the other side of the net, the Spaniard will probably raise his level from round two to round three. Hurkacz has been in solid form so far in Toronto (d. Alexander Bublik and Miomir Kecmanovic), but keep in mind that he did lose to Michael Mmoh right away in Washington, D.C. Count on Alcaraz taking care of business and punching his ticket to the last eight.

Pick: Alcaraz in 2

Andy Murray vs. (7) Jannik Sinner

Surprisingly enough, Sinner’s draw is even tougher than Alcaraz’s! Sinner had to face fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini in his opening match. Now–after doing well to win that one 6-4, 6-3–the No. 7 seed runs into a three-time Grand Slam champion in Murray.

Murray has already played five sets this week, four of which were tough. The former world No. 1 defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(3), 6-0 and then came back from a break down in the third set to outlast Max Purcell 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 47 minutes. Sinner is more rested and in outstanding form, so he should be able to take a 2-1 lead in the head-to-head series with Murray.

Pick: Sinner in 2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.