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Tiafoe vs Millman ATP Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Young gun Tiafoe aims for first win in 2019 as he plays Millman in Sydney opener

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 7 Jan 2019
  • Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman is live from Sydney on Tuesday, 8 January from 3:00pm local time/ 4:00am GMT
  • Millman edged their only previous main draw meeting in a final set tie break at the 2017 Atlanta Open
Frances Tiafoe. (Photo by TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images)

American young gun, Frances Tiafoe takes on Australia's John Millman in the opening round of the Sydney International on Tuesday.

Tiafoe is coming off representing the United States at the Hopman Cup, where he failed to win any of his three singles matches. He lost a very tight contest to fellow Next Gen star, Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-3 6-7 6-3, but he was a clear second best against Roger Federer in his second match, as the great Swiss ran out a 6-4 6-1 victor.

Neither of those two results was particularly unexpected, with Federer and Tsitsipas well above Tiafoe in the rankings, but his 7-6 6-0 loss to Great Britain's Cameron Norrie in his final group match came as a bit of a surprise, as the American capitulated against a player ranked 51 places below him.

Having seen some of his contemporaries make significant climbs up the rankings over the last couple of seasons, can Tiafoe make his own big jump in 2017?

Not that Tiafoe has been stagnant, of course, but his rise has not been as spectacular as say Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Denis Shapovalov, who have all broken the top 30 and beyond. The American, who turns 21 on January 20, first touched the top 100 in 2016, while he reached the top 60 in 2017, and got into the top 40 last year, peaking at No. 38.

He picked up his maiden ATP World Tour title last season, beating Matt Ebden, Juan Martin del Potro, Hyeon Chung, Denis Shapovalov and Peter Gojowczyk in a quality week at Delray Beach, while he made another final in Estoril and a notable fourth round at the Miami Open. He also had his best Grand Slam performance, reaching the third round at Wimbledon. However, he had a poor finish to the year, winning just four matches in his last eight tournaments.

The American faces a tricky start to his 2019 ATP World Tour season, as he takes on home favourite, John Millman in Sydney on Tuesday.

John Millman. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Millman famously reached the quarter finals of the US Open last season, knocking out Roger Federer in the fourth round before losing to eventual champion, Novak Djokovic. His Flushing Meadows fairytale was a bolt completely out of the blue as the Australian had played (and lost) just one main draw match in the month leading up to the start of the US Open.  

It was by far his most significant week on a tennis court and reward for his diligence and perseverance after a coming through a series of serious injuries.

Outside that Flushing Meadows run, Millman also reached his first tour-level final in 2018, in Budapest, where he lost to Marco Cecchinato. The 29-year-old, who had never been ranked higher than 60th, broke into the top 40, reaching as high as No. 33 in the world. 

Millman couldn't quite build on his US Open heroics in the remainder of 2018, winning just one match after Flushing Meadows, and ending the year on a three-match losing streak. A back injury forced him to retire against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the Paris Masters- his final tournament of the year.

The 29-year-old started the new year on a positive note, beating Tennys Sandgren 7-6 6-7 6-0 in the first round of the Brisbane International, but his tournament ended in the next round, as he fell 6-3 6-4 to Grigor Dimitrov. He also lost 4-1 4-3 to Milos Raonic at the Fast4 exhibition tournament in Sydney on Monday, having replaced Dimitrov in the event. Next up for Millman is his Sydney International opener against Tiafoe, as the Aussie attempts to reach the second round for just the third time, having got to that stage in 2013 and 2018. 

Millman and Tiafoe have met once before in an ATP main draw match; the Australian winning 5-7 6-4 7-6 in Atlanta in 2017 after Tiafoe failed to serve out the match at 6-5 in the final set. As the rankings show, Tiafoe is 38th and Millman is 39th in the world, this is a fairly even match-up, and has the makings of being another very tight one. 

Frances Tiafoe vs John Millman is live from Sydney on Tuesday, 8 January from 3:00pm local time/ 4:00am GMT

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Tiafoe vs Millman ATP Sydney Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Young gun Tiafoe aims for first win in 2019 as he plays Millman in Sydney opener

Frances Tiafoe and John Millman meet in the first round of the Sydney International on Tuesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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