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Back Bellucci to see off Russian in Barcelona

Sorribes Tormo set for Istanbul cruise

Thomaz Bellucci is a consistent clay-courter
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ATP Barcelona Open
Sky Sports 3, 10am Tuesday

Thomaz Bellucci threw away his chance of landing a fifth ATP World Tour title when he met with defeat in the final of the US Clay Court Championship in Houston earlier this month.

But the Brazilian is in good touch and shouldn’t be the outsider for his Barcelona Open match with Karen Khachanov.

Bellucci was 4-2 up in the final set against a cramping Steve Johnson but failed to take advantage of his opponent’s frailties, eventually losing 7-5 in the decisive tiebreak.

However, the 29-year-old is a solid clay-court performer and can prosper ahead of Khachanov.

The lofty Russian is steadily climbing the rankings but his game, which relies on a mighty serve, is better suited to faster surfaces. He has won a Challenger Tour title on the clay, but each of Bellucci’s four top-level victories have come on red dirt and his experience should tell.

There’s women’s action in Stuttgart (BT Sport 1, 11am) and in Istanbul (BT Sport 2, 9am), where improving Spanish youngster Sara Sorribes Tormo should be backed to make light work of home hope Ipek Soylu.

Sorribes Tormo has faced the Turkish player on two occasions, winning both matches, and heavy hitters can consider taking odds-on quotes about the 20-year-old, who made the semi-finals of the WTA Claro Open in Bogota earlier this month and is up to a career-best 82nd in the rankings.

Soylu has not played a WTA Tour event on clay since last year’s French Open and could struggle.

She lost 6-2 7-5 against Stefanie Voegele in the first round of this competition last season and a similar fate could befall her once again.

Back Sorribes Tormo to win with ease.

Recommendations
T Bellucci
1pt 11-10 Betway
S Sorribes Tormo to win 2-0 (Istanbul Open)
1pt 11-10 Paddy Power

Bellucci’s four top-level victories have come on red dirt and his experience should tell
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