Millman Earns Maiden Title In Nur-Sultan
Australian owns 3-0 ATP Head2Head record against Mannarino
Throughout his career, John Millman has experienced many great moments on a tennis court. But the Australian made a major career breakthrough at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan on Sunday.
The 31-year-old overcame Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-1 to capture his maiden ATP Tour title in his third tour-level championship match. Millman played his best tennis in critical moments, as he saved all six break points he faced and broke serve on three occasions.
“It is incredible. I am so happy and relieved,” said Millman. “I just feel very satisfied. It is just a pure moment of satisfaction… That was my third final, third time lucky I guess. These things aren’t easy to win and to do so at a place where I felt so comfortable all week, in terms of the hospitality, makes it really special. To win the inaugural Astana Open is special. I am so happy. It has been a big team effort and I am pumped.”
Millman extended his unbeaten ATP Head2Head record against Mannarino to 3-0 after one hour and 48 minutes to become the fifth first-time champion on the ATP Tour in 2020. The fourth seed joins Ugo Humbert, Casper Ruud, Thiago Seyboth Wild and Miomir Kecmanovic on the list.
Millman also became the fifth player in 2020 to win an ATP Tour crown after saving match point(s) en route to the trophy. In his quarter-final against Tommy Paul, the World No. 45 saved two match points at 3-5 in the third set and rallied from 0/5 down in a final-set tie-break to beat the American 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(5).
2020 Champions To Save Match Point
|Jiri Vesely||Pune||Ilya Ivashka
|Reilly Opelka||Delray Beach||Milos Raonic||SF||1 M.P.|
|Novak Djokovic||Dubai||Gael Monfils||SF||3 M.P.|
|Ugo Humbert||Antwerp||Daniel Evans||SF||4 M.P.|
|John Millman||Nur-Sultan||Tommy Paul||QF||2 M.P.|
Mannarino was appearing in his 10th ATP Tour championship match (1-9). The Frenchman advanced to the final in Nur-Sultan with straight-sets wins against Yuichi Sugita, Mackenzie McDonald and Emil Ruusuvuori.
“If I knew before coming here that I would play the final, I would be happy with that result,” said Mannarino. “I am pretty disappointed with how I managed the final, especially with my emotions, but overall this is still a good week. Congratulations to John who really played tough today, he was fighting so well and he deserved the title.”
Millman was put under pressure late in the first set, but he attacked Mannarino’s backhand and served well to save five break points. The Australian used his forehand to earn his first break point at 6-5 and ripped a backhand winner down the line to take his opportunity.
From 1-1 in the second set, Millman claimed five straight games to charge to the title. The Brisbane native continued to play aggressively with his backhand and attacked his opponent’s backhand to extract a series of errors.
“I thought Adrian was playing great in that first set… Whenever you play Adrian Mannarino, it is always going to be a physical match,” said Millman. “He makes you work for every point and he is so stingy with his errors. You have to be so low and moving really well because his ball is not really getting up. He is a really good indoor hard court player.
”I had to fight off those early break points and I really managed to win that first set against the momentum of the match. After that, I saw the finish line was in sight. That was really pivotal, to fight off those break points and take that one opportunity at the end of the first set. With that, I managed to carry the momentum throughout the match.”
Millman earned 250 FedEx ATP Rankings points and $13,410. Mannarino collected 150 points and $11,210.