WATCH: Simona Halep has played just two matches since injuring her calf in Rome.


Simona Halep vs. Camila Giorgi

Early birds to the Grandstand on Monday could see a good one between these two 29-year-olds. From a name-recognition standpoint, and a career-accomplishment standpoint, it would seem like we’re in for a one-sided contest. Halep is a former No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champ who has spent most of her career in the Top 10. Giorgi has never been ranked higher than No. 26, and at the start of August, she was down at No. 75. But it’s what has happened over the last month or so that adds some intrigue to this one. After missing Roland Garros and Wimbledon with a calf strain, Halep lost her opener in Canada and withdrew from Cincinnati with a thigh injury. Meanwhile, Giorgi won the biggest title of her career, in Montreal, a run that shot her ranking up 40 spots, to No. 36. Giorgi loves to belt the ball, and Halep loves to track it down; if they’re both in form, it could be a fun contrast in styles to kick the tournament off. Winner: Halep

Tsitsipas and Murray will face off for the first time on distinctly different career trajectories.

Tsitsipas and Murray will face off for the first time on distinctly different career trajectories.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Andy Murray

Tsitsipas and Murray will be second up in Ashe Stadium, which is a suitably big stage for the first meeting between a world No. 3 and a former Open champion. But while this match will feature two well-known quantities, on paper it doesn’t promise to be all that competitive. Tsitsipas is ranked third, is having the best year of his career, and looked in fine form during semifinal runs in Toronto and Cincinnati. Murray is ranked No. 114 and lost to Hubert Hurkacz and Frances Tiafoe in straight sets in Cincy and Winston-Salem. Those aren’t terrible losses, but they don’t bold well for his chances against the higher-ranked Tsitsipas. The Greek will have a particular advantage in the forehand department; Murray’s hasn’t been much of a weapon recently. We’ve seen Murray pull off minor miracles in Ashe before, and if he can make this a war of attrition and get the crowd involved, he could prolong the inevitable. But a victory is a long shot. Winner: Tsitsipas

Nick Kyrgios vs. Roberto Bautista Agut

When the draw was made, this one had night-match-in-Armstrong written all over it, and that’s where it has correctly landed. Kyrgios and Bautista Agut have played twice, and each has won once. If Kyrgios is uninjured and in the mood to play, it should make a good show. The Aussie’s serve and unpredictable shot-making will be pitted against the Spaniard’s metronome-like steadiness and grittiness. The question may be whether RBA can make early inroads on Kyrgios’s serve, and get under his skin. The longer this one goes, the louder it’s likely to get, on the court and in the stands. Winner: Bautista Agut