Fixture: Diego Schwartzman vs John Millman
Date: 17 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Diego Schwartzman vs John Millman preview
World No. 15 Diego Schwartzman faces off against John Millman in the second round of the Rome Masters on Thursday.
Schwartzman comes into the match in desperate need of good form, having lost three recent matches in unexpected fashion. The Argentine player was defeated by Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters before he crashed out of the US Open in the first round, losing a five-set grind to Cameron Norrie.
Schwartzman then lost to Laslo Djere in the third round of his first claycourt tournament of the season in Kitzbuhel, where he was seeded second.
The Argentine's post-lockdown form has come as a bit of a shock, given the way he had started the year. After making the fourth round at the Australian Open, Schwartzman reached the final in Cordoba and the semifinal at his home tournament in Buenos Aires, where he was forced to retire due to injury.
Diego Schwartzman's next opponent, Australia's John Millman, is certainly no amateur on the tour. But the 31-year-old has blown hot and cold this year.
After losing a five-set third round match to Roger Federer at the Australian Open, Millman exited early at Delray Beach, Acapulco, Cincinnati, US Open and Kitzbuhel.
Millman does, however, come into the match against Schwartzman on the back of a strong win against Joao Sousa in the first round.
Diego Schwartzman vs John Millman head-to-head
The match is the second between the two players on the ATP tour; John Millman currently leads the head-to-head against Diego Schwartzman by a margin of 1-0.
The Aussie prevailed against Schwartzman at the Australian Open in 2016, despite going two sets down. Millman rallied to win the third set and then went 5-0 up in the fourth, which is when Schwartzman was forced to retire due to injury.
Diego Schwartzman vs John Millman prediction
Given his superior ranking, Diego Schwartzman may have the slight edge among the bookmakers for this match. But John Millman has proved that irrespective of form, he has the capability to provide big results against any opposition.
Schwartzman is a proven player on clay. With his quick movement and excellent return game, he can be a thorn in the side of even the tallest and biggest-serving players on tour.
The serve, however, is not the biggest asset of Millman. With his counterpunching style, the Aussie looks to stretch rallies from the baseline and punish any short ball, something that Schwartzman has been guilty of coughing up a lot in the recent past.
If Schwartzman is not at his best, which he has not been since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Millman will make him pay.
Prediction: John Millman to win in three sets.Published 17 Sep 2020, 02:17 IST