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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Argentinian can inflict another defeat on Nishikori

Riske could have a fitness edge in Stanford

Juan Martin del Potro is enjoying his tennis again
1 of 1

ATP Citi Open
BT Sport 2, 6.45pm Thursday
WTA Bank of the West Classic
BT Sport 1, 7pm Thursday

Argentinian ace Juan Martin del Potro and world number nine Kei Nishikori have had their careers blighted by injury but they arrive at the ATP Citi Open in peak form and punters can expect an exciting third-round encounter.

Bookmakers make Del Potro slight favourite and the upbeat right-hander, a three-time champion on the hard courts of Washington, impressed in dismissing Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 7-5 6-2 in his curtain-raiser.

Delpo’s record in this tournament speaks for itself. The 28-year-old’s only defeat in the American capital came as an inexperienced teenager ten years ago and his three subsequent appearances in the event have all ended with success.

Of course, Nishikori will provide a sterner test - the Japanese superstar reigned supreme here in 2015 - but he needed a deciding set tie-break to see off Donald Young in the last round and his record against Del Potro is abysmal.

Nishikori has won just one of their six meetings, which includes a straight-sets defeat on the red dirt of Rome in May, and he may find the towering Del Potro too determined in a tournament he clearly loves.

The WTA Bank of the West Classic is warming up nicely and home hope Alison Riske may be able to spring a surprise against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Russian hasn't been seen in competitive action since suffering a first-round exit at last month's Wimbledon and Riske, who has won three of their four meetings, could have a significant fitness edge.

J del Potro
2pts 4-5 general
A Riske
1pt 6-5 Betfair, Hills

Nishikori has won just one of their six meetings and he may find the towering right-hander too determined in a tournament he clearly loves
E.W. Terms
Sky bet