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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Kokkinakis can follow up Federer win by beating Verdasco

Azarenka looks a decent bet

Thanasi Kokkinakis beat Roger Federer
1 of 1

Sky Sports Arena & BT Sport 1, 4pm Monday

Injury-hit Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis recorded the biggest win of his career when defeating Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-6 in the second round of the Miami Open and he can move into the last 16 by overcoming another veteran, the 34-year-old Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

Kokkinakis told anybody who was prepared to listen that he fancied his chances of defeating Federer, who he has practised with on several occasions.

The last two years have been a nightmare for the 21-year-old, who has had to cope with numerous injuries, including a shoulder problem which required surgery and left him sidelined for nine months.

However, at his best his big serve and powerful forehand make him a dangerous player and the signs were good going into the Federer match as he warmed up with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 first-round success over Calvin Hemery.

He did it the hard way against Federer, coming from a set behind, but showed his ability and mental strength to win the deciding tie-break 7-4 and looks capable of going further in the tournament.

Verdasco, a Miami quarter-finalist in 2009 and 2010, is a tough opponent but he isn't anywhere near Federer's class and will be vulnerable if Kokkinakis brings his A game.

Verdasco lost 6-4 2-6 6-7 to 20-year-old American Taylor Fritz in the third round at Indian Wells earlier this month and could be troubled by another of the tour's most promising young players.

Former women's number one Viktoria Azarenka is getting closer to reproducing her best tennis and looks a solid odds-on favourite to despatch Agnieska Radwanksa in the Miami Open fourth round.

Azarenka is playing her way into the tournament and looked strong in the closing stages of her 3-6 6-4 6-1 success over second-round opponent Anastasija Sevastova.

Her aggressive game matches up well against Radwanska's counter-punching style with the head-to-head record 12 to five in favour of the Belarusian.

Radwanska sprang a major surprise by defeating world number one Simona Halep 3-6 6-2 6-3 in the third round but she expended a lot of energy in that encounter and may struggle against Azarenka, who looks a decent bet to cover a 3.5-game handicap.

Recommendations
T Kokkinakis
1pt 5-4 bet365
V Azarenka -3.5 games
1pt 10-11 BoyleSports


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Radwanska sprang a major surprise by defeating world number one Simona Halep 3-6 6-2 6-3 in the third round
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