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Ailing Millman in dazzling Sydney comeback

US Open quarter-finalist John Millman has risen from the canvas to produce a memorable comeback win over Frances Tiafoe at the Sydney International.

Ailing Millman in dazzling Sydney comeback

US Open quarter-finalist John Millman has risen from the canvas to produce a memorable comeback win over Frances Tiafoe at the Sydney International.

JOHN MILLMAN of Australia returns the ball during his men's singles quarter-final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.
JOHN MILLMAN of Australia returns the ball during his men's singles quarter-final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Picture:Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

An ailing John Millman admitted he fed off the feverish home-crowd support after staging a mighty fightback to reach the second round of the Sydney International with a pulsating win over rising American Frances Tiafoe.

Millman revealed he considered withdrawing after waking up from Monday night's Fast4 exhibition appearance alongside Nick Kyrgios with "a bit of man flu" before outlasting Tiafoe 4-6 7-4 (7-5) 7-5 in a two-hour, 39-minute centre-court thriller on Tuesday.


"It was a tough decision to come out today. I was actually pretty crook," he said.

"I woke up this morning with the flu and (was) really dizzy out there.

"But any chance to play at home in Australia, I think you've got to take it, so I tried to come out here and give it everything."

The US Open quarter-finalist next plays Hungarian seventh seed Marton Fucsovics, who ousted Millman's countryman James Duckworth 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Millman also looked headed for the exit gates after slumping a set and a service break behind in the searing Sydney summer heat.

But, rather than raising the white flag and heading to Melbourne to recover for Monday's Australian Open start, the Queenslander sparked a bout of Millmania inside Ken Rosewall Arena.

After snatching the second-set tiebreaker, the world No.38 repeatedly relinquished his serve in the decider to his talented 20-year-old opponent ranked just one spot below.

But, with Lleyton Hewitt also willing him on courtside, Millman produced a fightback that even the Australian Davis Cup captain would have been proud of.

"It wasn't ideal losing that first set. I thought if I had any chance of winning I had to win that first set," Millman said.

"It's that never-say-die attitude that a lot of Australians have. Definitely in that third set, with a bit of momentum, I was down a few times."

Millman's epic effort certainly wouldn't have surprised Kyrgios, who only hours earlier praised the 29-year-old's lion-hearted tenacity after overcoming three career-threatening surgeries to crack the world's top 40 for the first time after bringing down Roger Federer in New York.

"He's unreal, he's positive and gives 100 per cent every time," Kyrgios said.

In another notable result, Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev upset French sixth seed Lucas Pouille 6-2 6-3.

AAP


AAP




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