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Tennis: This week's highlights

The season may not be far away from reaching its conclusion, but there are some excellent events taking place in October, starting with the Astana Open which features a high-class field.

It has been upgraded from an ATP 250 event to an ATP 500, enabling Kazakhstan to attract some of the game's biggest stars with the top four seeds being Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic.

There is also a top-class men's competition taking place in Tokyo, where US Open runner-up Casper Ruud is the headline act, while there are also women's hard-court events on the menu from Ostrava and Montasir and plenty of the action can be watched on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

US Open hero Alcaraz eyeing more success

Spanish teenage sensation Alcaraz made history with his US Open success in September, as he became the youngest world number one of all-time in men's tennis.

The 19-year-old also became the youngest male Grand Slam champion since compatriot Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2005.

The next step for Alcaraz is to prove that victory was no flash in the pan and the Murcia man will be keen to make his mark in Astana, albeit the competition is fierce.

First up for the Spanish top seed is Holger Rune, but Andrey Rublev could be lurking in the quarter-final, before a semi-final showdown with Tsitsipas.

Alcaraz is housed away from the likes of Djokovic and Medvedev, either of whom would make for a mouthwatering final, but he has been out of action since mid-September when involved in the Davis Cup, so there may be some ring rust.

One player at a bigger price worth considering in the top half of the draw would be Polish seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz, who was a semi-finalist on his return to action in Metz just over a week ago.

The early draw has been kind to Hurkacz, who should ease into the quarter-final before a potential match-up with Greek star Tsitsipas.

However, Tsitsipas doesn't always convince on a hard court and three defeats from his last six matches highlights his inconsistencies.

With fourth seed Djokovic involved in a final with Marin Cilic in Tel Aviv on Sunday and Medvedev flattering to deceive recently, there is room for an upset in the bottom half.

Felix Auger Aliassime, who is the eighth seed and who beat Djokovic in his last appearance at the Laver Cup at the end of September, looks most likely to spring any surprise.

All eyes on Ruud and Kyrgios in Tokyo

Ruud has always been considered a clay-court specialist, but his run to the US Open final in September showed the Norwegian has far more strings to his bow.

Understandably, the world number two tops the seedings in Tokyo and will be expected to go close in a field where world number 12 Taylor Fritz is the next highest-ranked player involved.

That said, the 23-year-old was beaten in the quarter-final in Seoul by Yoshihito Nishioka last time out, so he's no certainty to oblige with plenty of dangers to his supremacy still lurking.

Nick Kyrgios, who has turned a corner this year with a run to the Wimbledon final and the US Open quarter-finals, makes his first start since Flushing Meadows and if in the mood to perform has to go close.

But he is inconsistent, so those looking to get involved may want to consider American duo Frances Tiafoe and Fritz.

Tiafoe reached the semi-final of his home Grand Slam and recorded a victory over world number six Tsitsipas at the Laver Cup just over a week ago.

His draw doesn't look too daunting and neither does Fritz's, whose win at the ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells earlier this season shows he can mix it with anyone on his day.

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Super Swiatek out to stamp her authority

Iga Swiatek has carried all before her on the WTA Tour this season and the Polish world number one will be hoping she can add more silverware in Ostrava.

Top seed Swiatek is making her first start since winning September's US Open, which was her seventh title success this year.

If fully wound-up, which her dominance this year suggests she will be, then she is going to be tough to stop although if there is to be an upset then home favourites Karolína Pliskova and Petra Kvitova are two to consider.

Jabeur aims to reward her home fans

Tunisian talent Ons Jabeur has done wonders in promoting the women's game in Africa and a big following in Monastir should help her get over the line.

Top seed Jabeur will be fully motivated to claim silverware in front of her passionate home crowd and, in truth, she should have a big class edge on the field.

World number 13 Veronika Kudermetova is second seed, but the Russian is wildly inconsistent, so expect Jabeur to get the job done.

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