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Nur Sultan 2020: Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman preview, head-to-head & prediction | Astana Open

Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe
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Modified 30 Oct 2020, 20:10 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Frances Tiafoe vs (4) John Millman

Date: 31 October 2020

Tournament: Astana Open 2020

Round: Semifinals

Venue: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $273,345

Match timing: Not before 4 pm ALMT, 3.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel

Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman preview

Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe

When 22-year-old American Frances Tiafoe moved into the top 30 of the rankings last year, it seemed like he was set for bigger things. But Tiafoe wasn't accustomed to the high level of competition at the top, and soon dropped down the rankings.

The American seems to be finding his groove again though, especially since the tour resumed. He reached the round of 16 at the US Open, losing to Daniil Medvedev, and won a Challenger title in Italy earlier in October.

Meanwhile the 31-year-old John Millman is ranked No. 45 on the tour, and is through to his first semifinal since the Japan Open last October (where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final).

Millman has gone 4-7 since the tour resumed in August, but looks to be heading back to his career-high of No. 33 in the world. The Australian, a quarterfinalist at the US Open in 2018, is known to be among the hardest workers on the tour and also among the nicest guys.

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Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman head-to-head

John Millman plays a forehand during the 2020 French Open
John Millman plays a forehand during the 2020 French Open

John Millman leads the head-to-head against Frances Tiafoe 2-1 - with all three of their encounters going the distance on hardcourts. Millman won their matches at Atlanta and Sydney in 2017 and 2019 respectively, while Tiafoe won their second round encounter at the US Open in five sets.

The two also played once in the qualifying event at Queen's in 2016, which Tiafoe won in straight sets.

Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman prediction

Frances Tiafoe has scored three good wins this week - including one over the No. 2 seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round. In the quarterfinals Tiafoe overcome a stiff challenge from Egor Gerasimov, eventually beating him 7-6, 5-7, 7-5.

After a first round bye, John Millman scored a straight-sets win over Fernando Verdasco. He then defeated the No. 7 seed Tommy Paul in a hard-fought quarterfinal, emerging triumphant 6-7, 6-4, 7-5. Millman saved two match points at 3-5 in the deciding set, and came back from 0-5 down in the third-set tie-break, before completing the thrilling win.

Both players are coming off tough quarterfinals, but they seem to be in good form. They are both also consistent baseliners who like to control play with the depth on their groundstrokes.

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The American, however, does have a slightly stronger serve and forehand. If those two shots are working, they could help him eventually outlast the Australian.

Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in three sets.

Published 30 Oct 2020, 19:57 IST
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