Thiem Suffers Loss To Millman In Serbia Open

Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his tennis single’s match against Australia’s John Millman at the Serbia Tennis Open ATP 250 series tournament in Belgrade on April 19, 2022. Pedja MILOSAVLJEVIC / AFP

 

Dominic Thiem suffered a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 loss to John Millman in the opening round of the Serbia Open on Tuesday in his first tour-level match in 10 months. 

The 2020 US Open champion and former world number three had been sidelined with a wrist injury suffered in a grass-court tournament in Marbella in June last year.

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The 28-year-old Austrian returned to action in the same Spanish city last month in a second-tier Challenger clay-court event where he lost in the first round. He tested positive for Covid-19 the day after that defeat.

Thiem, a two-time French Open runner-up and 2020 Australian Open finalist, has slumped to 54 in the world during his prolonged absence.

AFP

Australian Open: Federer Survives Epic Five-Set Thriller

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after victory against Australia's John Millman during their men's singles match on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 24, 2020. William WEST / AFP
Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after victory against Australia’s John Millman during their men’s singles match on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 24, 2020.
William WEST / AFP

 

Six-time champion Roger Federer said it was a “big relief” to survive an epic five-set marathon and seal his 100th Australian Open win on Friday, fending off a dogged challenge from John Millman.

The Swiss master was rattled by the all-guns-blazing Australian, but scraped through 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10/8) to stay alive in his quest for a 21st Grand Slam title.

He will take on unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who eased past American Tommy Paul in straight sets, for a place in the last eight.

“It was tough tonight, thank God it was a super breaker,” said the third seed, who looked out for the count when he was down 8-4 in the best-of-10 fifth set super tiebreaker.

“He played a great match. It came down to the wire. What a match.

“This one was unique in many ways that I was able to turn a super breaker around like this in an atmosphere, it was crazy, fun, and I couldn’t be more happy. Big relief.”

“Things were extremely difficult, not just in the breaker, (but) throughout the match for me against John,” he added.

Millman said he “left it all out there” and praised Federer, saying: “That’s what the best players I guess do.”

Federer not only gained a 100th victory at Melbourne Park but became the only player, man or woman, to post a century of victories at two different Slams.

The Swiss great reached three figures at Wimbledon last year.

He is one of only four players in the 100 club — Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon, and Chris Evert and Serena Williams at the US Open, are the others.

It nearly didn’t happen against the 47th-ranked Australian Millman, who memorably beat Federer over four gruelling sets in the round of 16 at the US Open in 2018.

One of the fittest players on tour, Millman broke Federer in the fourth game of the opening set.

The 38-year-old Federer, struggling to find his rhythm, fell 5-2 behind. He broke in the ninth game only for Millman to immediately break back to love thanks to poor Federer serving and take the set.

The second went with serve until the Swiss took his game to another level in the tiebreaker.

Federer wrestled control as he won the third set, but Millman came roaring back, excelling in the baselines rallies to break for a 4-3 lead and take the match into a fifth set.

The pair shared breaks in the tense decider and it went to a tiebreak with Federer looking dead and buried at 8-4 down.

But he stayed calm and hauled himself back to win a Grand Slam classic.

 

AFP