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Tennis acca tips for Friday, February 23: Cameron Norrie to continue Rio Open defence, Iga Swiatek to make Dubai final

British number one Cameron Norrie and US Open champion Iga Swiatek are back in action on Friday and Planet Sport has the tips that you need for your Friday Tennis acca to be a success.

Cameron Norrie is the top-ranked player left in contention for the ATP 500 Rio Open and appears on course to retain his title.

Norrie needs to claim the title to maintain his current ranking but has done enough this week to ensure he will at least remain the British number one.

In Dubai, Iga Swiatek is on a seven-match winning streak and is the only seed left in the draw at the semi-final stage.

Here we make a handful of picks from a packed day of Tennis on Friday 23 February.

 

ATP Doha: Alexei Popyrin vs Karen Khachanov | Pick: Khachanov

ATP Doha: Jakub Mensik vs Gael Monfils | Pick: Mensik

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Francisco Cerundolo vs Dusan Lajovic | Pick: Lajovic

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Thiago Monteiro vs Sebastian Baez | Pick: Baez

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Cameron Norrie | Pick: Norrie

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Joao Fonseca vs Mariano Navone | Pick: Fonseca

WTA Dubai: Jasmine Paolini vs Sorana Cirstea | Pick: Cirstea

WTA Dubai: Iga Swiatek vs Anna Kalinskaya | Pick: Swiatek

 

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ATP Doha: Alexei Popyrin vs Karen Khachanov

 

Karen Khachanov and Alexei Popyrin will play each other in the semi-final of the Qatar Open in what will be the fourth career meeting between the players.

Khachanov leads the head-to-head 2-1 although Popyrin did win their most recent meeting in Tokyo last year.

Popyrin is on a hot run in Doha after he blew past fourth seed Alexander Bublik in the quarter-finals in straight sets.

Khachanov hasn't found his best form for some time but two good wins set him up to defeat Popyrin for a third time.

 

ATP Doha: Jakub Mensik vs Gael Monfils

 

Jakub Mensik has put away several big names already in this tournament and looks set to make his top 100 debut.

Gael Monfils has rolled back the years this week and picked up some solid wins which suggest he is close to his best.

However, Mensik has been unstoppable this week, becoming the youngest player with a top-five win since Carlos Alcaraz, and Monfils might struggle to deal with the youngster's verve and vigour.

Monfils should put up a good fight but he may end up being just another scalp for the rising star.

 

 

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Francisco Cerundolo vs Dusan Lajovic

 

Francisco Cerundolo and Dusan Lajovic will face off in singles action for the second time.

An able clay-courter, Lajovic has already beaten Cerundolo once and could reach the last four in Rio with another win.

Lajovic has to be one of the tournament favourites when all things are considered.

Lajovic was on song in the last 16 and will be a tough opponent for Cerundolo.

 

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Thiago Monteiro vs Sebastian Baez

 

Thiago Monteiro and Sebastian Baez have met twice on the full  ATP Tour and also twice on the Challenger circuit.

In all, Baez has won three of the four clashes between the players although Monteiro's solitary win came in Rio in 2022.

Monteiro played well in the last 16 but a lack of court time could sting him against Baez.

The Argentine has played at a good level on the South American clay swing and should have the quality to prevail.

 

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Cameron Norrie

 

Cameron Norrie will have little concern about facing a home hope in the last eight.

Norrie has his sights set on another title and with the draw opening up for him he is now the favourite in Rio.

Norrie is yet to drop a set in Rio and is looking close to his best in his title defence.

This will be the first-ever meeting between these players at any level.

 

ATP Rio De Janeiro: Joao Fonseca vs Mariano Navone

 

Two players who have been upset the apple cart this week clash in the last eight.

Fonseca is ranked 655th in the world and is making waves with his form in Rio.

Meanwhile, Mariano Navone is approaching eight hours on court this week after coming through the qualifiers.

Fonseca has a 1-0 lead in the head-to-head between these players and that will have more bearing than his ranking.

 

WTA Dubai: Jasmine Paolini vs Sorana Cirstea

 

Sorana Cirstea and Jasmine Paolini have both caught the eye this week with some stunning performances.

Cirstea came back from an improbable position to defeat Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova. Her fighting spirit might hold the key in this semi-final.

Meanwhile, Paolini has racked up huge win after huge win this week.

Poalini beat a top 20 star to start, dumped out a US Open finalist and then beat a former top ten star before progressing to the last four with an easy win against Elena Rybakina. 

 

WTA Dubai: Iga Swiatek vs Anna Kalinskaya

 

Iga Swiatek has invoked the memory of her 2022 37-match winning streak after being at her dominant best this week.

Swiatek has now won seven matches in a row and is yet to taste defeat in the Middle East.

Anna Kalinskaya cannot be written off as she had a terrific win against Coco Gauff in the last eight.

However, Swiatek is on another level and should breeze to the Dubai title this weekend.

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