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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Nadal gone but Goffin has a big chance to kick on

Reserve Carreno Busta could keep it close against Thiem

David Goffin is poetry in motion on the way to defeating world number one Rafael Nadal
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Sky Arena & BBC2, from midday

Dimitrov v Goffin 2pm
Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from the year-ending ATP Finals after his opening loss to David Goffin saw Roger Federer shorten to 4-9 prior to his second London outing on Tuesday night.

Knee injury victim Nadal, winner of two Grand Slams and assured of the season-closing world number one ranking, has been replaced in the London tournament by his fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who plays on Wednesday evening.

Goffin, who was 28-1 pre-tournament and 150-1 in July after suffering a leg injury in the French Open, was best at 14-1 to win ATP Finals after edging out Nadal 7-6 6-7 6-4 and there could be more to come from the mercurial Belgian.

Grigor Dimitrov did his chances of reaching the semi-finals no harm when deservedly defeating Dominic Thiem 6-3 5-7 7-5 on Monday, but Goffin may prove a tougher nut to crack for the Bulgarian and a price of 6-4 could prove decent value.

Dimitrov tops the Pete Sampras group just ahead of Goffin, but there's a fair chance that the leaders could have flip-flopped by late afternoon.

D Goffin
2pts 6-4 bet365, Hills

Thiem v Carreno Busta 8pm
Dominic Thiem dominates his personal series with ATP Finals first reserve Pablo Carreno Busta – he holds a 5-1 lead over the Spaniard – but it may pay not to read too much into that stat.

The belated draft could have a detrimental effect on Carreno Busta's hopes for the remainder of the tournament, but Thiem has been performing in such a lacklustre fashion in recent months that it could pay to expect a closely-fought clash on Wednesday evening.

Backing the match to last for three sets is an option, but the safer play could be to take the 4-6 about Thiem's second London outing lasting for 22 games or more.

Thiem did well to fight back from a break down against Dimitrov in the deciding set of their curtain-raiser, but one game later the Austrian was broken again and talent alone has not been saving him of late.

Carreno Busta has enjoyed a fine season which has seen him rise into the world's top ten and he is such a versatile player that further progress cannot be ruled out.

Over 21.5 games
1pt 4-6 Coral, Ladbrokes

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Dimitrov tops the Pete Sampras group just ahead of Goffin, but there's a fair chance that the leaders could have flip-flopped by late afternoon
E.W. Terms
Sky bet