Three Australian men had second round matches at the US Open today. Alex de Minaur face France’s Richard Gasquet, John Millman USA’s Frances Tiafoe and Christopher O’Connell took on 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev of Russia.
de Minaur was first to play on court 11. He defeated Gasquet 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5 in just over three hours. The Australian world no. 28 should have been in the locker room a lot earlier but failed to convert match points in the third set.
Millman followed de Minaur on court 11 and found himself two breaks behind at 2-5. He would fight back to 5-5 and then was in a tiebreaker for the first set.
In the tiebreaker Millman was in command at 5-2 but Tiafoe fought back to take the breaker 8-6.
Millman broke in the second game of the third set as Tiafoe started piling up the unforced errors. Millman held to love to consolidate the break and move to 3-0.
At this stage of the match Tiafoe had hit 49 unforced errors to Millman’s 29 and the winners count was 27-20 in favour of the Australian.
Millman continued to dominate and easily won the third set 6-1. At this stage you could have expected Millman to roll on and win the match. Tiafoe had other ideas.
Tiafoe broke to lead 4-1 before Millman held serve and then broke after Tiafoe sent a forehand into the net. It was now 3-4 with Millman serving.
Tiafoe was able to force errors from Millman and the American broke again for 5-3. He then served out the set to take the match into a fifth set.
Millman played a seven minute game to hold serve in the opening game after fighting off several break points.
Games went with serve until the seventh game when Tiafoe broke then held and broke again to close out a match that lasted 3 hours 56 minutes. The final score was 7-6(6) 3-6 1-6 6-3 6-3.
Tiafoe advanced to the third round at the US Open for the first time despite hitting 73 unforced errors to 44 winners. Millman hit 54 unforced errors to 50 winners.
The key stat was on break points won. Millman converted 7 from 23 with Tiafoe converting 5 from 14.
Millman will be left to rue the lost opportunities in the first set. He mounted a good comeback from 2-5 and took the set to a tiebreaker where he was 5-3.
“I didn’t play bad tennis, I thought Frances kind of caught fire there for a set and a half. He’s got that explosive game where he can do that,” Millman admitted. “Obviously I would have loved to have won … it’s always tough losing those tight ones.”
O’Connell faced Medvedev on Louis Armstrong Stadium and was no pushover despite not being able to break the Russian’s serve throughout the match.
Medvedev won the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours 16 minutes and converted 4 of 17 break points. O’Connell failed to convert from the two he earned late in the match.