Australia’s John Millman has proven once again that he is one of the good guys in tennis after his terrific display of sportsmanship after downing France’s Ugo Humbert.
The Australian Davis Cup stalwart won 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 1-6 7-5, with Humbert losing his nerve in the final game, serving two consecutive double faults to close out the match.
Following the contest, which saw Humbert push the crowd favourite hard in the final two sets, Millman shared a lengthy embrace with the 21-year-old Frenchman, encouraging him for his performance.
“These best of five set matches, they’re long, and a quality guy like that, it’s tough to keep him out for three consecutive sets,” Millman said after the win.
“I thought he lifted his level, I thought I lost a little bit of momentum early in service games and I was under the pump and he’s a really good frontrunner, so I just had to regroup and refocus and turn things around.”
Millman’s second-round opponent will be Poland’s No.31 seed Hubert Hurkacz, who fought back from two sets down to beat Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak.
Were he to win that encounter, Millman’s likely third-round opponent at Melbourne Park would be 20-time major champion Roger Federer, whom the Australian famously ousted in the the round of 16 at the 2018 US Open.
Earlier on Tuesday, rising Italian star Jannik Sinner ended the campaign of local hope Max Purcell.
Sinner was on the brink of victory, leading by two sets to love, when heavy rain interrupted their first-round clash on Monday afternoon.
But when play resumed under clear skies on Tuesday, the Italian needed only a few more minutes to close out the 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-4 win against Purcell, who had advanced to the Melbourne Park main draw through qualifying.
Sinner defeated Australian Alex de Minaur in the final of last year’s Next Gen championships in Milan.