ATP Japan Final Preview and Tennis Betting Tips

Tennis Pilot

Saturday, October 5, 2019 3:01 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 3:01 PM UTC

Djokovic is likely to enjoy the match up against baseline grinder Millman

<div><h2>Novak Djokovic (1) vs John Millman</h2><p><strong>Sunday, October 6, Tokyo</strong></p><p>I made the obvious point in my outright preview that the bottom half was far more open than the top. Predictably, Novak made the final from the top half, while the bottom was even more open than I would have expected. All four seeds lost in their opening round and Millman was the one to take advantage at 41 outright.</p><p>Magnus Norman was the only qualifier to have ever made the final when the event was played on outdoor hard going right back to 1983. In 2019, just 36 years later, that trend was broken. Millman came back from a set and 3 match points down in the first round of qualification against Klahn and 5 matches later he’s into his second main level final and the first final at 500 level. Notably he didn’t play a single top 50 player en route but it was still an excellent week for the Aussie. I always admire his hard work, determination and positive attitude and with any luck he can give a respectable performance.</p><p>However, Djokovic is a 1.06 favourite to win his 85<sup>th</sup> main level final and it’s hard to see past the world number 1. He’s won a combined 124.4% of service and return points this week which is far superior to Millman’s 107% and just 5 of Novak’s last 50 losses have come against a player ranked outside the top 55. It has been a relatively poor few years for Novak away from the slams but he tends to go well this week of the year and looks motivated to get the job done. Last round he defeated David Goffin, world number 15, in straight sets 6-3 6-4 and he has been increasingly clinical over the week.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=164&amp;a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0003/1348572/WHC_27064_Updated-In-Play-Tennis-Insurance_1280x480NEW.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a></p><p>The major problem for Millman is that he effectively plays the same game as Djokovic but less effectively. He lacks any major weaponry and so relies on grinding down opposition from the back of the court, coaxing errors and putting the ball in awkward places. Unsurprisingly, he struggles to execute this game style against top quality opposition with a poor 2-16 record and -52.1% ROI against the top 20 lifetime. He is 3-16 against the top 50 over the last 12 months for a -71.3% ROI, 0-8 vs the top 20 over the same time period and 1-15 against the top 10 lifetime.</p><p>Notably, his one win was over Federer at last year’s US Open, and the following round he lost 6-3 6-4 6-4 to Djokovic. The first time they met it was 6-2 6-1 to Djokovic and both meetings came in 2018. As often in tennis, the match up is almost more important than the absolute quality of each player. Federer is a shot maker so when he’s not quite on form Millman has a chance of absorbing enough pace and waiting for Federer to miss. Djokovic is an entirely different style of player and his level would have to drop dramatically for that tactic to work. If he’s smart, Millman will try to play well above his usual level and strike the ball much more aggressively, but, even if he does try this tactic, it is likely that he will be unable to maintain it against the best defender in the game.</p><p>Value is often difficult to come by with elite, short price favourites but I was surprised to see the over line at 19.5 games. Djokovic has won in 19 or fewer games in 3 of his 4 matches this week and in the one that lost he served for the match at 6-3 5-3 and had 3 match points on return the following game, so a very unusual way to lose the bet. None of the 5 H2H sets have gone beyond 10 games and, unless Millman can play well above his normal level, it seems very likely that Novak wins with at least a break in each set. Not a huge amount of value on offer but at 1.85 the under has appeal and is my pick for the final.</p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><em><strong>Best bet: under 19.5 games at 1.85 with Unibet</strong></em></a></p></div>
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