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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Carreno Busta can build on last year's promise

Veteran Muller doesn't look at his best

Pablo Carreno Busta during his second-round victory over Gilles Simon
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Day five
Eurosport 1 & 2, 8am & midnight Thursday

Carreno Busta v Muller
Gilles Muller has got past the third round just once in 12 visits to the Australian Open and his poor record in the tournament may continue with a defeat to tenth seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

Age hasn't been much of a barrier to 34-year-old Muller, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year and lifted his ranking to a career high of 21st.

But the big-serving left-hander has not played his best tennis this week and was taken to five sets in his second-round match with Tunisian journeyman Malek Jaziri, winning 7-5 6-4 6-7 3-6 6-2.

He was a straight-sets victor over Carreno Busta (6-4 7-6 7-6) in the Australian Open first round three years ago but the Spaniard has won their last two meetings and looks a solid odds-on shot to make it three in a row.

Carreno Busta had an excellent 2017, winning a title in Estoril and posting career-best performances at the French and US Opens, reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

He can achieve another landmark by beating Muller and qualifying for the Australian Open fourth round for the first time.

P Carreno Busta
2pts 8-11 Betway, Hills

Seppi v Karlovic
Another big-server could fall by the wayside with giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic likely to struggle against Andreas Seppi.

Karlovic is attempting to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2010 but may be physically and mentally fatigued after his marathon 7-6 6-7 7-5 4-6 12-10 second-round victory over Japanese world number 41 Yuichi Sugita.

He faces another tough match against Seppi, who is on a seven-match winning sequence after following up a Challenger title success in Canberra with victories over wildcard Corentin Moutet (3-6 6-4 6-4 6-2) and Yoshihito Nishioka (6-1 6-1 6-4).

A Seppi
2pts 4-5 Hills

Kanepi v Suarez Navarro
Kaia Kanepi was going through an injury nightmare this time last year but has put in some excellent performances over the last six months including a quarter-final appearance at the US Open. She looks a solid favourite to win her third-round clash with Carla Suarez Navarro.

Kanepi has won three of their last four meetings, all of them in straight sets.

Another 2-0 victory looks likely for the heavy-hitting Estonian who has impressed in her victories over Dominika Cibulkova (6-2 6-2) and Monica Puig (6-4 6-3).

K Kanepi to win 2-0
1pt Evs general

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Kanepi has won three of their last four meetings, all of them in straight sets
E.W. Terms
Sky bet