Millman Saves 3 MP To Reach Budapest Final
"It was brutal tennis out there," said Millman. " I am super happy to be in the final."
The semi-final, which was suspended after two sets on Saturday due to darkness, resumed on Sunday morning with both men failing to convert match points before reaching a decisive tie-break. Millman had served for the match at 5-4, with a match point at 40/30, before saving three match points at 5-6. The Australian took control in the tie-break to open up a 5/1 lead before Bedene reeled him back to 6/5. But the World No. 94 kept his composure, securing his spot in the final on his fifth match point.
Millman will face fellow first-time ATP World Tour finalist Marco Cecchinato of Italy. The two have never met on the ATP World Tour, but Cecchinato did win both of their meetings at Futures level in 2011.
"Hopefully [the crowd] can carry me through one more [match]," said Millman. "It is going to be pretty tough physically to get back up, but I am going to give it everything."
Cecchinato had suffered a straightforward defeat in the final round of qualifying six days ago, but advanced to his maiden ATP World Tour final after coming from a set down to beat countryman Andreas Seppi 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.
"It is very strange because I lost last week [in qualifying] and tomorrow I will play the final," reflected Cecchinato. "I am very happy."
The World No. 92, who was appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final, trailed by a set and 4/2 in the second-set tie-break, but won five of the next seven points to force a deciding set. From there, Cecchinato dropped just three points behind his first serve and secured a crucial break in the sixth game. The 25-year-old served out the match to love three games later to move into his first championship match.
"It was a tough match," said Cecchinato. "I know Andreas (Seppi) very well because we are friends, I have practised with him for so many years."
Seppi was bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour final since the 2015 Gerry Weber Open (l. to Federer), but fell in his second semi-final of the season. The Italian also lost to Roger Federer earlier this season at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor saved one match point to beat Marcin Matkowski and Nicholas Monroe 5-7, 6-3, 11-9. The British-Croatian duo was a point from defeat at 8/9 in the extended Match Tie-break before winning three consecutive points to book a spot in Sunday's final. Inglot and Skugor will face Matwe Middelkoop and Andres Molteni for the title.
Did You Know?
The all-Italian semi-final marked the first time that two Italian men had reached the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event since the 2017 Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag.