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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Talented Sabalenka has an opportunity to crack Maria

Experience may not save German against teenager

Tatjana Maria could face a tough test in Tashkent
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WTA Wuhan Open
BT Sport 1, 5.30am Wednesday

WTA Tashkent Open
BT Sport 2, 6pm Wednesday

Tatjana Maria has been performing better this season, but the limited German could still be vulnerable against talented young opposition and that could be the case when she lines up against Aryna Sabalenka in the second round of the Tashkent Open.

Maria started well enough with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Vitalia Diatchenko, the world number 201 who has suffered umpteen hiatuses in her career due to health and injury issues.

If anything, Sabalenka's 6-2 6-2 dismissal of Evgeniya Rodina reads better and the 19-year-old Belarusian, who has a great athletic physique for tennis, clearly has ability to go with it.

She has already represented her country in Fed Cup and, if positive in the last 16 in the Uzbekistan capital, could take the game to Maria.

Sabalenka is odds-against to post an upset victory and progress to the last eight and that price is difficult to quibble with.

In the ATP event in Chengdu, China, Kyle Edmund's reward for his 6-4 6-2 thrashing of Bernard Tomic is a clash with Jared Donaldson.

British number two Edmund could kick on, but Donaldson is no mug and the Tomic form is worth little considering the poor mindset of the Australian this year.

A Sabalenka
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The form of Sabalenka's 6-2 6-2 dismissal of Rodina reads better than Maria's victory over Diatchenko
E.W. Terms
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