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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Diego could make Federer toil on fastest courts

Swiss ace faces potentially difficult Shanghai opener in Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman is the best returner of serve on the ATP Tour
1 of 1

ATP Shanghai Masters
Sky Arena, from 6am Wednesday

WTA Hong Kong Open
BT Sport 1, from 8am Wednesday

Roger Federer said this week that he could not be happier with the way his tennis year has panned out, but while the Swiss legend is clearly one of the principal players in the Shanghai Masters he could receive a stern test of his title credentials from Diego Schwartzman.

Federer is no stranger to dominating opponents on fast courts down the years, but Schwartz­man has been performing so well that he can be chanced on total-games handicaps against the 36-year-old.

World number two Federer, who met the Golden State Warriors basketball team in China at the weekend, is more than happy that he and his Laver Cup buddy Rafael Nadal have won two Grand Slams apiece this year.

But Argentinian pocket dynamo Schwartzman, who tops the ATP return stats this year, could make the favourite work hard on the Shanghai hard courts, the fastest surface the sport is played on at Masters 1,000 Series level.

Most oddsmakers afford Schwartz­man, who is being shaded for the title of Argentinian number one by Juan Martin del Potro, a start of 4.5 games but it may be worth punters taking a shorter price and having an extra game on their side.

Federer leads their personal series 3-0, but their most recent clash in Istanbul in 2015 produced a closely-fought 2-6 6-2 7-5 scoreline and their fourth meeting could be closer than the layers believe.

Early risers can consider backing Ying-Ying Duan with a hefty start of 4.5 or 5.5 games against Tianjin Open opponent Lesia Tsurenko in the battle of the 28-year-olds. The Chinese player has played some decent tennis in 2017 and is finding greater consistency with experience.

D Schwartzman +5.5 games
1pt 4-7 Sky Bet

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Schwartz­man has been performing so well that he can be chanced on total-games handicaps against the 36-year-old
E.W. Terms
Sky bet