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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Irresistible Isner could continue to make waves

Murray may also go well after skipping Wimbledon

American number one John Isner is producing career-best tennis this season
1 of 1

Starts Monday

ATP Citi Open
Andy Murray returns to competitive tennis after skipping Wimbledon and the former world number one, now 838th on the ATP chart, could be eyeing a triumph which would make him one of the lowest-ranked champions in tennis history.

Of course, with Masters Series 1,000 events in Canada and Cincinnati coming up, the Scot could bide his time with a view to peaking at the US Open.

But there was a lot to like about the way he performed on grass at the Queen's Club and in Eastbourne and it may be worth punters keeping Murray, who could meet Kyle Edmund in round two, on their side.

Formwise, though, it could be wise to keep faith with John Isner. The American, due to contest the Atlanta final on Sunday night, is playing superbly well this season and could make life difficult for defending champion Alexander Zverev, David Goffin and Nick Kyrgios, who is struggling for form and focus.

Andrey Rublev could make his mark at this level before long but it may be a bit soon after the Russian's return from injury.

J Isner
2pts 10-1 Coral

ATP Mexican Open
Juan Martin del Potro has been looking forward to visiting Los Cabos since losing at Wimble­don and the Argentinian top seed, who is hoping to spend at least one day on the beach in Mexico, could also have a clear run to the title.

There's a fascinating first-round clash in the bottom half of the draw between last year's Los Cabos runner-up Thanasi Kokkinakis and seventh seed Taylor Fritz.

But Fritz is due to contest the Canadian Open qualifiers at the end of the week so anyone considering backing the Californian should take care.

J M del Potro
2pts 15-8 Coral, Ladbrokes

ATP Generali Open
The final main-tour clay event of the season sees Dominic Thiem seeded top in Kitzbuhel with second seed and defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber hoping for a third win in Austria in four years.

World number eight Thiem may have to contend with promising compatriots Sebastian Ofner and Dennis Novak, so there may be better value siding with promising Chilean Nicolas Jarry, a semi-finalist in Hamburg last week.

N Jarry
1pt each-way 50-1 Betfair, Paddy Power

WTA Silicon Valley Classic
Garbine Muguruza, Madison Keys, Venus Williams and Elise Mertens are the seeds who receive first-round byes in San Jose, but Serena Williams makes most appeal after her heroics in reaching the Wimbledon final.

The event has moved down the road from Stanford University this year and the Williams sisters are no strangers to performing successfully in it in recent years.

Serena, who found only Angelique Kerber too good in the London Grand Slam, opens with a potentially tough outing against Johanna Konta, but it may be only top seeds Muguruza and Keys who seriously trouble the finest player in WTA Tour history.

S Williams
2pts 3-1 bet365, BoyleSports, Hills

WTA Citi Open
The two highest-ranked players in action on the WTA Tour this week, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens, are competing in Washington DC.

Stephens will have one eye on her US Open title defence but may wish to add another homeland title, although Belinda Bencic may trouble the American.

Naomi Osaka, champion in Indian Wells in March, should enjoy the return to hard courts and can be chanced.

N Osaka
1pt 15-2 Hills

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The American is playing superbly well this season and could make life difficult for defending champion Alexander Zverev, David Goffin and Nick Kyrgios
E.W. Terms
Sky bet