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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Alex de Minaur has chance to land first title with Shenzhen victory

Andy Murray has a tough draw

Alex de Minaur has a big future ahead of him
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ATP Shenzhen Open
Andy Murray has not won an ATP World Tour title since the 2017 Dubai Tennis Championships but the injury-plagued Briton is joint-favourite to take the ATP Shenzhen Open title which he won in 2014.

He is likely to face David Goffin in round two before a potential third-round clash with his US Open conqueror Fernando Verdasco and there's no great desire to support the Scot in a tricky-looking top half that also features young guns Borna Coric, Cameron Norrie and Denis Shapovalov.

The bottom half of the draw looks easier to decipher and could prove to be at the mercy of brilliant Aussie tyro Alex de Minaur.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a run to the final of the ATP Citi Open in Washington and put together a decent run at the US Open where he came close to knocking out Marin Cilic in the third round.

The Sydney native is up to a career-high 38th in the world having started 2018 ranked 209th and there's potential for a further rise before the end of the season.

A de Minaur
1pt each-way 16-1 bet365

ATP Chengdu Open
Nikoloz Basilashvili played superbly to make the fourth round of the US Open and the big-hitting Georgian has every chance of capturing a second career title at the ATP Chengdu Open.

There are a few top-level players in attendance in China but Gael Monfils has showed only fleeting glimpses of his ability this year while Hyeon Chung has struggled with injuries since reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.

Fabio Fognini often flatters to deceive while eighth seed Tennys Sandgren is in poor form and may not get past an opening round tussle with Mikhail Kukushkin.

That could open the door for Basilashvili, who troubled Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows and came close to beating Kei Nishikori in Metz last week.

N Basilashvili
1pt each-way 20-1 Paddy Power

WTA Tashkent Open
A less-than-stellar field assembles in Uzbekistan to contest the Tashkent Open and a chance can be taken on Margarita Gasparyan returning to prominence with a victory.

Gasparyan has had terrible luck with injuries but showed glimpses of her old top-50 form when beating Polona Hercog and Su-Wei Hsieh in an attempt to qualify for the Connecticut Open.

Playing with a protected ranking, the 24-year-old made Angelique Kerber work hard in the opening round of the US Open and a reproduction of that standard might be enough for her to go close.

M Gasparyan
1pt each-way 20-1 bet365, 188Bet

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Murray is likely to face David Goffin in round two before a potential third-round clash with his US Open conqueror Fernando Verdasco
E.W. Terms
Sky bet