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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Pablo Carreno Busta looks ready to end run of Cilic

Nadal faces potentially tough clash against Italian Fognini

Pablo Carreno Busta is in excellent nick and is armed with a generous draw
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Sky Sports Arena & BT Sport 1, 11am Friday

Clay-court tennis's finest Rafael Nadal against Italy's top man Fabio Fognini provides the main entertainment in the Rome Masters on Friday, although it may pay to look elsewhere for the best value.

Nadal is bidding to bounce back to title-winning form having lost to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarter-finals. The King of Clay is likely to do that, although Fognini has always been capable of causing problems for the Spaniard.

Nadal will probably find a way and could be an option on total-games handicaps, but instead a punt on Pablo Carreno Busta to defeat Marin Cilic looks warranted.

Carreno Busta is not rushing his slow-court campaign, but take away the all-conquering Nadal and the Gijon native is a major player on the red terrain.

Cilic made light work of Benoit Paire at the Foro Italico in the last 16, winning 6-3 6-4, but Carreno Busta's 6-4 6-7 6-2 verdict over Aljaz Bedene reads just as well.

Elina Svitolina is in good nick and has already been well supported to thwart Angelique Kerber.

P Carreno Busta
1pt 11-8 bet365

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Take away the all-conquering Nadal and Carreno Busta is a major player on the red terrain
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