John Millman after his second round victory. Picture: AAP Images
John Millman after his second round victory. Picture: AAP Images

Millman bracing for 'ruthless' Federer onslaught

John Millman is bracing for a ruthless Australian Open onslaught from Roger Federer as the Swiss sorcerer seeks revenge for a miserable US Open loss to the Queenslander two years ago.

Millman stunned grand slam record-holder Federer with a career-defining 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3) fourth-round victory in 2018, taming the superstar with physicality in brutal conditions.

Federer suffered in Flushing Meadows' heat and humidity as iron-willed Millman traded on bottomless stamina.
"I feel as if Roger, one of his best qualities is the fact that he moves on pretty quickly," Millman said ahead of the pair's Melbourne Park third-round assignment.

"He put together a pretty good kind of 12 months after.

"I'm sure he'll be confident in himself. He's got every reason to be super, super confident in himself. He's won umpteen (20) grand slams.

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John Millman is ready for his Roger Federer rematch. Picture: AAP Images
John Millman is ready for his Roger Federer rematch. Picture: AAP Images

"Look, I think he'll treat it as another match obviously. Probably even he'll be that much more determined to kind of nip me in the bud."

Federer has a 2-1 record against Millman, barely surviving the right-hander in Brisbane in 2015 before avenging New York defeat with straight-sets success in Halle last year.

Despite that, the six-time Melbourne Park champion knows Millman will not shirk the challenge.

"I think the next match is really going to be a test for me because John is going to be there. He's fit like a fiddle," Federer said.

"I've lost to him in the past in a best-of-five set match. I almost lost to him in Brisbane, as well, the first time I played against him.

"He's from this country, so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

Reflecting on the US Open setback, Federer said he suffered on an unprecedented scale.

"Yeah, definitely. I don't know anything remotely close," he said."I was just happy it was over. I never had that.  

Roger Federer was in stunning form during his second round win. Picture: AAP Images
Roger Federer was in stunning form during his second round win. Picture: AAP Images

"I think it was a combination of many things that went wrong for me on that day, plus the opponent was ready and tough as nails.

"I tried everything in the match itself, as well. It was just not meant to be that day.

"I hit the wall. I tried to figure it out as long as I could. I still had my chances, so it was a tough loss."

Millman's recall is far more positive.

"Obviously Roger is a class act," he said."The way I see it is, you take a few snapshots, you have a few of those memorable moments that hopefully when you finish playing tennis you can think back and think that was pretty cool.

"That was one of those moments. That was one of those really special nights at Arthur Ashe, packed crowd there.

"I played some really, really great tennis. He probably didn't play his best tennis. I managed to do something that not many people thought I could do.

"It was an awesome experience.

John Millman is ready for his biggest challenge. Picture: AAP Images
John Millman is ready for his biggest challenge. Picture: AAP Images

"But I do know that that doesn't really count for anything now. It's probably the toughest test in tennis to versus Roger Federer.

"I think a lot of people think he's one of, if not the, greatest ever to play the game.

"The good news is I'll go out there and you start out at 0-0.

"What you can expect from me, my coaching team, friends, family, what they can all expect from me is that I'll go out there and give it a crack.

"Regardless of the score at the end of the day, I'll go out there and leave it all out there.

"If lightning strikes twice, I wouldn't say no to it.

"Look, it's what you want to do. You don't play sport to not want these moments. Home slam against someone like Roger, it's pretty cool."

The winner of the match will play either American Tommy Paul or Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.



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