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Vanquished Millman ponders his future

3 minute read

Popular Australian tennis star John Millman admits his decorated career could be coming to an end following a first-round exit from Wimbledon.

JOHN MILLMAN.
JOHN MILLMAN. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

John Millman hopes he hasn't played his last Wimbledon after conceding his battered body can only take so much.

Millman endured a first-round exit with a 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-4 loss to Serbia's 25th seed Miomir Kecmanovic on day one of the championships, then revealed his distinguished career was coming to an end.

"Obviously I enjoy playing out here but definitely there's a used-by date," the 33-year-old told AAP.

"And when that comes, I think I'll put the feet up a little bit, play a little golf and I look forward to it actually.

"I look forward to when I can kind of rest the body.

"I've got a fair few labral tears in my hip and I've had back problems for a long time now.

"It's just one of those things, tennis is a physical sport. There's a lot of wear and tear on the body."

The only Australian to have conquered Roger Federer at a grand slam this century, Millman desperately hopes to play the US Open, the scene of his famous triumph in 2018.

"So I think I'll at least extend it up until then and, if I can get some good results and the body holds together, then we'll see what happens," he said.

Asked if the Australian Open could prove his swan song, Millman said: "We'll see".

"To be honest, I just haven't given it much thought. I literally have for a long time taken it one block at a time and I am relatively satisfied with the fact that I've given it a good nudge.

"But if you can get a run in the big tournaments, you want to be playing them. And if I do, we'll be having the same conversation then."

His earth-moving fourth-round victory over Federer at Flushing Meadows vaulted the popular Queenslander into his only grand slam quarter-final.

He almost shocked the 20-times grand slam champion again at the 2020 Australian Open, falling in a fifth-set super-tiebreaker that he led 8-4.

The only other Australian to topple the Swiss master at a major was Pat Rafter at the 1999 French Open, when Federer was a teenager.

Yet Millman, the world No.89 who peaked at No.33 in October 2018, doesn't rank his career-defining victory over the long-time former world No.1 as his highlight.

"There's been other things that I probably hold a little bit higher than that match, which sounds probably a little bit silly," he said.

"Whenever I've got to represent the country - obviously Davis Cup, but also the Olympics. I love playing the Olympics.

"And qualifying here at Wimbledon for the first time in 2015 was one of my favourite moments.

"I mean, back then I never knew what type of career I was going to have.

"That's right up there with one of my best feelings I've had in tennis."

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