John Millman of Australia, currently ranked 43 in the world, will play Joao Sousa of Portugal, the world number 68, in the first round of the 2020 ATP Italian Open on Tuesday, September 15. The match will be played some time after 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this John Millman v Joao Sousa match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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John Millman v Joao Sousa Head to Head
The pair have never played each other before. This will be the first meeting between the two 31-year-olds.
Millman, A Consistent Performer on Tour
Although Millman has never won an ATP final, he has built up a reputation as a solid and consistent performer and did reach the final in Tokyo last year before losing to Novak Djokovic. He has also enjoyed considerable success on the Challenger circuit, where he has won 12 titles, the most recent of which came in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, last September.
And, whilst his preferred surface is hard courts, he has also won clay court tournaments as well.
Millman began his year playing for Australia in the ATP Cup, and then equalled his best ever showing at his home Grand Slam by getting to the third round before losing to Roger Federer. First round defeats in Delray Beach and Acapulco followed before lockdown.
Since the return of the sport, he reached the second round of the Cincinnati Open before losing to John Isner, and reached the same stage in New York, beaten by Frances Tiafoe in five sets.
However, he was beaten by compatriot Jordan Thompson in the first round in Kitzbuhel last week.
Sousa, in the middle of a terrible run
Sousa is widely regarded as the best male tennis player that Portugal has ever produced. He has been in 10 ATP finals and won three of them – in Kuala Lumpur in 2013, in Valencia two years later, and his home event in Estoril in 2018. He has been ranked as high as 28 in the world, but he is not playing at that level now.
Although regarded as a clay court player, he has a strong serve and forehand which means that he can also perform on other surfaces, and his best performances in Grand Slams came in 2018 in New York and last year at Wimbledon, where he got to the fourth round on both occasions.
However, prior to lockdown, he was in terrible form and lost in the first round of all five tournaments he entered in the first part of the year, including the Australian Open.
Nor have there been any recent signs of improvement. He failed to qualify for the Cincinnati Open, and was beaten in the first round of the US Open by the world 186 Michael Mmoh of the USA.
He was beaten in the first round of the Kitzbuhel Open last week by Hubert Hurkasz of Poland.
Millman v Sousa Prediction and Tip
Although Sousa is much more adept on clay than Millman, he is in a terrible run of form right now. Against an opponent like Millman, who is always a solid performer, he is unlikely to prosper unless he can raise his game.
Tip: Millman to win: 8/11 (bet365)