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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Talented youngster Rublev can outfox his desert foes

Top seed Cilic could take the beating in the subcontinent

Andrey Rublev is one of the best young players on the ATP Tour
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Starts Monday

ATP Qatar Open
Dominic Thiem is in pole position to win the lucrative Qatar Open, which starts in Doha on Monday, but while quotes of 6-1 about the top seed are not the worst in the world, there may be better value in a couple of younger rivals.

It's an open heat in the desert and the event provides a great chance for bigger-priced players to shine.

Borna Coric could cause problems for second seed Pablo Carreno Busta in round one, but while the 21-year-old Croat could make his presence felt this week, slight preference is for Andrey Rublev.

The Russian, 20, could face a tough second-round clash with Fernando Verdasco, but with a lot of players not yet wound up for the season the Spaniard may not be at his best.

Rublev already has a win indoors to his name over Coric and the outdoor event is unlikely to detract from the selection’s chance should they clash again.

The opposition is likely to be Spanish should Rublev make the last four, with Albert Ramos-Vinolas and either Feliciano Lopez or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in line to contest a quarter-final clash.

In the top half, wildcard entry Gael Monfils merits considerable respect in this company. The Frenchman has gone close in this tournament on more than one occasion and could figure again if fit enough.

Recommendation
A Rublev
1pt each-way 16-1 Sky Bet


ATP Tata Open
Marin Cilic heads the bill in the latest edition of the Indian Open, which has moved from Chennai to Pune.

The top-seeded Croat can expect to have to work hard for victory with second and third seeds Kevin Anderson and defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut having reached the final of the Mubadala exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Anderson won the winner-takes-all prize of $250,000 in the UAE.

The top seeds have a great record in the subcontinent's only main-tour event, so it's no surprise to see a gap in the betting to fourth seed Benoit Paire.

Bautista Agut and Jiri Vesely could use plenty of energy in a thrilling clash for a semi-final berth, so it may pay to go with Cilic, who may also have too much for Anderson in a big-two final which looks perfectly plausible.

Recommendation
M Cilic
1pt 10-3 Coral, Ladbrokes


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Rublev already has a win indoors to his name over Coric and the outdoor event is unlikely to detract from the selection’s chance should they clash
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