Date: 21 October 2020
Tournament: Bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor Hard Court
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: Not before 6:00 pm CEST, 9:30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Alexander Zverev vs John Millman preview
Top seed Alexander Zverev will kickstart his 2020 Bett1Hulks Championship campaign with a second-round match against John Millman on Wednesday.
The World No. 7 is playing in his second event at Cologne in as many weeks, and will be hoping to produce an encore of the first one. Zverev emerged as the champion in Cologne 1, where he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final.
The German will come into this match with two days of rest - something that he will need against the tricky customer that is John Millman. Fortunately for Zverev, he seems to have fully recovered from the nasty bout of cold that he was suffering during his Roland Garros campaign.
Zverev has dropped just one set in his four matches at Cologne thus far, and is the favorite to clinch the second edition as well. Regarded as one of the fittest players on tour, Zverev is unlikely to be bothered too much by the prospect of playing back-to-back tournaments.
The German has a 13-3 win-loss record since the resumption of the tour. He started his post-pandemic campaign with a loss - to Andy Murray at the Cincinnati Masters - but has since won all his matches on hardcourt barring the US Open final.
For John Millman, the tryst with the Zverev family continues after he lost to Mischa Zverev in the first round of Cologne 1. The Australian has bounced back well in the Cologne 2 event, defeating Fernando Verdasco in straight sets on Tuesday.
Millman is playing in his seventh tournament since the tour resumed but hasn’t gone past the second round anywhere. Needless to say, the odds are stacked against him against the top seed Zverev.
Alexander Zverev vs John Millman head-to-head
Alexander Zverev leads John Millman by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head.
The two played each other in the first round at Roland Garros last year, with Zverev needing five sets and over four hours to defeat the Australian.
Alexander Zverev vs John Millman prediction
Alexander Zverev comes into this match as the favorite courtesy of his excellent form and superior ranking. But John Millman is a player who has a knack of upsetting the odds when faced with a top opponent, especially someone as erratic as Zverev.
The Australian loves to camp himself around the baseline, and is not afraid to indulge in long rallies from the back of the court. Zverev would have to avoid dropping the ball short the way he often does when put under pressure, and instead use his wide wingspan to stretch his opponent around the court.
Millman will no doubt use his traditional counterpunching game to good effect, but Zverev has the raw power and accuracy to burn a hole through the Australian's defenses.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in three sets.Published 21 Oct 2020, 01:45 IST