Editor's Note: Auger-Aliassime withdrew Thursday ahead of his scheduled San Diego debut. Lucky loser August Holmgren takes his spot in the draw to face Dimitrov.

In his first tournament (Laver Cup not included) since his stellar US open semifinal run, Felix Auger-Aliassime will look to continue his fine form against Grigor Dimitrov in the San Diego second round.

According to the oddsmakers, the Canadian is listed as a solid -240 favorite and projected to win by three total games. Betting on or against either player is inherently risky due to their notoriously inconsistent performances. Their range of outcomes on any given day ranges from jaw-dropping to head-scratching, so please keep any plays on the small side, but FAA is in a good spot on Thursday.

Tournament playing conditions are undoubtedly the most important factor when determining tennis bets, and the Barnes tennis center in San Diego is playing pretty slow. The light and malleable Wilson US Open balls are fluffing up on the gritty hard courts, which reward both big serving and heavy hitting. After watching a few matches in person, it’s clear that this is a difficult court to hit through.

Grigor Dimitrov has a top-five slice backhand on tour, but I don’t think his reliance on this shot will serve him well against FAA. Slices are sitting up, which should give the Canadian ample time to run around and rip inside-out forehands. It’s unlikely Dimitrov will opt for a down-the-line backhand off FAA’s massive forehand, so expect to see the Canadian playing from the ad-court—where he and so many other players with big forehands—play their best tennis.

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Dimitrov will need to hit his topspin backhand well to trouble Auger-Aliassime on Thursday.

Dimitrov will need to hit his topspin backhand well to trouble Auger-Aliassime on Thursday.