Millman vs Basilashvili (Approx 07:30am AEST)
This play will follow on from the Thompson and Edmund plays from Day 1, where I am inclined to heavily favour the player that I feel will have a significant fitness advantage for one reason or another.
I mentioned in the outright preview that this is a fantastic opportunity for John Millman to improve his rankings. Last year, he faced eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the first round, so this is a free hit at Millman trying to move his way up the rankings and improve on his 2019 result. He has been keeping himself in shape in Queensland whilst awaiting the tour returning, and based on what I saw last week, he looks to be striking the ball well. He is sometimes undone by the biggest servers on tour, as we saw against Isner last week, however this is a far more favourable match-up for the Australian.
Whilst I have a lot of confidence in the work done by Millman during the break, the same cannot be said for Nikolaz Basilashvili. Basilashvili spent a short time during the tour suspension in jail, having been arrested after accusations of domestic violence towards his ex-wife. For a player that was already quite erratic on court, I have my doubts over the condition he has returned to the tour in compared to say a John Millman. He struggled mightily against Felix Auger-Aliassime last week in the Western & Southern Open, winning only 12 points in the second set on the way to a 4-6 1-6 loss.
Whilst the handicap of -5.5 games does look a touch big on first look, the ultra-consistent game of Millman will put pressure on Basilashvili from the outset. Given what we saw from him in the second set last week, an early deficit may be hard for Basilashvili to overcome off such little tennis. I am happy to take Millman here at the -5.5 game handicap for 2.5 units.
2.5 units Millman -5.5 games vs Basilashvili at $1.80 at Topsport ($1.83 at Bet365)
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