Australia’s John Millman went into the Hamburg ATP 500 event as the second highest ranked Australian after hitting a career-high ranking of no. 50. This comes on the back of some solid results throughout 2018 on the ATP Challenger tour and on the main tour. Millman won Challenger titles in Kyoto and Aix En Provence where on both occasions he defeated fellow Australians, he also reached the ATP 250 final in Budapest.
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Photo: John Millman at the 2018 French Open, he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in the opening round at Hamburg. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
In the opening round in Hamburg, Millman faced Jan-Lennard Struff who is ranked at 51. Struff is a member of the German Davis Cup team and has struggled a bit in 2018. He has seen his ranking hover around 50 after he had reached a career-high ranking of 44 in May 2017.
The match was tight in the first set with a break of serve not coming until Millman broke to win the first set at 7-5. The Australian finally converting on his fifth break point. The second set saw Millman get an early break and jump out to a 3-0 lead.
Struff hit a very loose shot at deuce to hand Millman his first match point at 5-3. Millman hit long after a long rally to miss his first opportunity. After Struff turned up the power Millman was drawn out wide and hit a brilliant shot down the line to bring up match point no. 2, another poor shot saw that come and go. A big serve down the T earned Millman his third match point as Struff only just got his racquet on the ball. Finally, another solid serve from Millman saw Struff hit long to hand the Australian a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
29-year-old Millman again had five break point opportunities in the second set, but it took just one to give him the set.
Millman most likely will play the top seed Dominic Thiem in the second round, Thiem had defeated Rafael Nadal on clay in the Madrid quarterfinal as well as losing to Nadal in the French Open final. Thiem faces French qualifier Corentin Moutet. Millman is the lone Australian taking part in the event.