Now 31 years of age, it appears Marin Cilic’s best days are firmly behind him. He made the final here two years ago, but managed only 8 grand slam wins in 2019.
His opponent, RBA, seems to be finding a new level, entering this tournament as the #9 seed. He has looked in control in both of his matches so far, only dropping one set in the process.
Cilic won an epic 5-setter against Benoit Paire in the second round and I can see him somewhat fatigued entering this matchup. This will make it more difficult to keep up his ferocious serve for long periods and I can see a few break opportunities going RBA’s way.
This should lead to a few 6-2 or 6-3 set victories, which really bode well for the -3.5 handicap here. Cilic has the talent to win a set here, but if this goes to 5 I’d be pretty surprised. With that in mind, I’ll take RBA -1.5 sets.
I’ve always thought the nickname ‘Mailman’ was somewhat paradoxical for John Millman. Despite being given that moniker, he’s hardly ‘delivered’ throughout his career.
He has a 42%-win rate in ATP Singles matches and is coming up against one of the best of all time here. He’ll no doubt be energised by the crowd, but I’d expect a guy like Federer to also feed off of this.
Millman isn’t a particularly good server, which could prove troubling against an excellent returner like Federer. This means we could see a few multi-break sets, which would really help the -7.5 games cash.
The Fed Express has had an excellent start to the tournament, not even coming close to dropping a set in 2 matches so far. He has won 87% of career matches at the Aus Open and looks primed for another big run here. If he passes the early test, I see him running away with this match.