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In-form German Philipp Kohlschreiber looks likely to ease past Istomin

Kiki Bertens may not be ready for grass

Philipp Kohlschreiber is playing his best tennis for years
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ATP & WTA Libema Open
FreeSports & BT Sport 1, 10am Tuesday

Denis Istomin leads Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-2 in their personal head-to-head series but the Uzbek is not the player he once was while Kohlschreiber, despite being three years older than his opponent, has returned to something like his best in the last few months.

The German will have the advantage of playing in front of a home crowd at the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, a tournament where he reached the final in 2016 in between two quarter-final appearances.

Kohli was languishing in 40th place in the ATP rankings just two months ago but a strong clay-court campaign has catapulted him up 18 places and, should he lift the trophy in Stuttgart on Sunday, he would return to the top 20 for the first time since 2013.

That won’t be easy with Roger Federer in the field but he should at least account for Istomin, who has lost his last seven matches, and backing the German to win 2-0 at a shade of odds-on is a viable option.

In the WTA Libema Open, Natalia Vikhlyantseva could cause an upset against home hope Kiki Bertens.

The Russian has not had a productive season but she is best suited to grass tennis and reached the final in Den Bosch last year in addition to chalking up four wins including qualifying the year before.

Bertens has played a lot on clay recently and may find it tough to make an immediate transition to the faster surface.

Recommendations
P Kohlschreiber to win 2-0
3pts 4-5 BoyleSports
N Vikhlyantseva
1pt 6-4 general


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The German will have the advantage of playing in front of a home crowd at the ATP Mercedes Cup
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