Roger Federer is set to lock horns with talented Frenchman Gael Monfils, while Novak Djokovic will face Spain's Tommy Robredo and Andy Murray will cross paths with American John Isner in Cincinnati Masters in Mason on Thursday.
Murray has struggled to match last year's showing and has also dropped down in the rankings. The back surgery earlier this season has clearly affected his performance and the Scot failed to reach the final of any event this year.
Murray made a quarterfinals exit from the Wimbledon and also crashed out in the third round of the Toronto Masters. The former US Open champion, however, looked more fluent in the second round match against Joao Sousa of Portugal.
"I hit the ball well from the back of the court," Murray said. "I was able to control the ball well. That was, for me, the most pleasing thing about the match today, because I have seen a lot of the players have struggled so far."
The Brit's next opponent is last year's finalist and homehope Isner, whom he defeated in the previous two clashes on hard court. Isner is yet to beat Murray in the professional tour. They last met in the quarterfinals of the 2011 US Open, when the Brit prevailed over him in four sets.
"Haven't played him in a few years, really," Isner said. "He's one of the best in the world, but for me it's a great challenge, a great opportunity. I normally play very well against players ranked ahead of myself, so I'm looking forward to it."
Meanwhile, world number one Djokovic will face Robredo, after prevailing over Gilles Simon in the second round. Djokovic had to dig deep to beat the Frenchman and was not at his best.
"I know I'm not playing at the level yet where I want to be and it's obvious, but I keep on pushing myself," Djokovic said. "Every day is a new challenge to try to look out for a better game tomorrow and after tomorrow, and hopefully it's going to come."
The top seed needs to play much better than how he performed in the opening fixture. Djokovic has a 6-1 win-loss record over Robredo but cannot afford to take the Spaniard lightly as he dispatched American Sam Querrey in straight sets in last match.
Djokovic was not the only top player that struggled in his opening match as Federer also faced a stiff challenge in his opening encounter. It will not be easy for the Swiss ace to get past Monfils, who is playing quite well in the tournament.
Federer edge Monfils in head-to-head meetings but the Frenchman defeated the Swiss Maestro in their most recent clash in Shanghai and more importantly, that victory came on hard court.
In another pre-quarterfinal clash, Stanislas Wawrinka will face Marin Cilic of Croatia. This will be the ninth time they will cross paths in the ATP tour and the Swiss edge Cilic 6-2 in head-to-head encounters.
Schedule of Play
Stanislas Wawrinka vs Marin Cilic starts 8:30 pm IST
Andy Murray vs John Isner starts 10:30 pm IST
Novak Djokovic vs Tommy Robredo starts 12:00 am IST
Gael Monfils vs Roger Federer starts 4:30 am IST
Where to Watch Live
The day's action is scheduled for an 8:00 pm IST (10:30 am ET, 3:30 pm BST and 2:30 pm GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Sports in India. Cincinnati Masters will also be streamed live HERE and HERE or catch the live updates HERE. ESPN 2 will telecast the matches live in the United States with an online streaming option HERE. In South Africa and sub-Sahara region the tournament will be available live on Super Sport with live online viewing option HERE.