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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Rafael Nadal should sweep aside teen star Tsitsipas

Outsiders to contest women's Istanbul final

Rafael Nadal plays a forehand
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WTA Stuttgart Grand Prix
BT Sport 3, 12.15pm Sunday
ATP Barcelona Open
Sky Sports Arena, 3pm Sunday

Rafael Nadal will bid to stretch his European clay season record to ten straight-sets wins in as many matches when he meets Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Barcelona Open.

Nadal, who is chasing his 11th Godo crown in the Catalan capital, posted his 400th clay triumph to see off David Goffin 6-4 6-0 in the last four and set up a clash with the Greek teenager.

Tsitsipas thwarted an all-Spanish final when he defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-3.

As usual, the oddsmakers ask Nadal to concede a hefty start on their handicaps, but it could still pay to side with the Majorcan to make light of a 6.5-game deficit.

Polona Hercog, 33-1 ante-post, meets 80-1 Pauline Parmentier in an unexpected title-deciding clash in Istanbul (BT Sport 3, 3pm).

The Frenchwoman has been carrying all before her this week, but it will still be a surprise if she stops the resurgent Hercog, who was a seriously useful clay-courter in her early career.

Coco Vandeweghe, 66-1 before the Stuttgart Grand Prix started, beat Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-2 to reach the final.

R Nadal -6.5 games
1pt 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes

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Tsitsipas thwarted an all-Spanish final when he defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-3
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