home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 21, 2016

John Millman

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

J. MILLMAN/G. Muller

4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Feel like a pretty special win for you?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, of course. It's probably a breakthrough win. Came close at Wimby to get close to that third round. Lost in five sets.

Managed to turn the tables around today when I was being outplayed at the start of the match. I was down a set and a break. Yeah, had to dig deep today and change things up and find a way, and I managed to.

Q. How did you change it up? It looked almost lost at one point.
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, Gilles is a very classy player. He plays well in Australia, too. Yeah, I think it wasn't necessarily playing too quick out there, unlike when I played my first-round match in the middle of the day. When that sun goes down, it starts to -- and the temperature goes down, it starts to play a bit slower. There's the propensity to overplay a little bit.

I kind of tried to rein it in and really tried to use the crowd today. They really helped me out. Can't thank them enough. They created such an atmosphere that I had no other choice but to lift and find another way.

Q. Do five-setters in a Grand Slam feel more nerve-wracking?
JOHN MILLMAN: It's tougher. It's tougher. I admit when I was up two sets to one, I thought, Geez, I wouldn't mind playing three sets here. I'd be in the ice baths and on my way home. It's great, too. That's what you do all the pre-season for. That's why I play tennis. I enjoy it. I love the challenge.

That's been unchartered waters for me, winning a five-setter. I managed to do that today. So, yeah, I guess that's why you live, don't you? To experience those moments, to experience that type of atmosphere, the people out there created, yeah, it was pretty special.

Q. It's your best at a Grand Slam. I suppose you don't want to stop there.
JOHN MILLMAN: Definitely not. I feel like I've proven now that I can beat a player like Gilles Muller. In the past I've matched up with some of the really top guys.

I was disappointed in a couple matches last year that I fell short, but I guess you learn from that. Today kind of really made things right. I made things right out there. I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I was ready for it. I was up for it.

Yeah, I'm just grateful that I managed to win today.

Q. How important is the check for you?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, of course it is. It's a massive thing for someone like myself who has really only spent a year in the top 100. It's probably something that I feel as if -- obviously the top guys deserve everything they get. They really do. They bring in everything. They bring in the sponsors. They bring in the money. They put bums in seats. They should be paid for what they do. I have the utmost respect for tennis players.

To be competing at this level, you have to be very good and you have to be dedicated. I kind of get the feeling the overall goal should be more players should be making money from the sport. So just touching on what you said, I've only probably been in the top 100 now nearly a year. Obviously the money's a little bit better. That kind of really sets up the start of the year. It allows me to do it maybe a little bit more properly.

Obviously I get some support with Tennis Australia. That's been fantastic working with Mark Draper, who is one of the Tennis Australia coaches.

It just allows you to do it a little bit more properly. You can eat a bit better. You can maybe stay -- you can get maybe the quickest connection in flights. I'll still sit at the back of the plane, but I might not spend 12 hours in Singapore or something like that.

It's those little things. You'd be surprised. It's little one percenters. I really feel that's the next step. That's the biggest challenge to get to that next level.

Q. The first time I read about you was in an Italian magazine a few years ago and the journalist called you the gypsy. You'd done some odd stuff.
JOHN MILLMAN: A gypsy? That's probably accurate. I just feel as if probably I represent the majority of tennis players out there. I didn't make that transition so quick from juniors. I didn't play any juniors. I was doing school up in Brisbane. Then I decided, hey, I'll play a bit of tennis because I was decent at it. I didn't know how far it would take me.

For me it's been a lot of toil. It's been hard work. I played a lot of years on the futures and challengers circuit. I've had two shoulder operations. I've had countless cortizones and MRIs. I'm a frequent flyer at the MRI machine. You know, my body, that's how I'm built.

I'm not special. I represent the majority of tennis players out there that are trying to play this game. They love doing it. They love the journey.

Yeah, so I probably am a gypsy, but the majority of tennis players are.

Q. How do you feel about potentially playing Bernard Tomic next round?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, I mean, I grew up with Bernie. He's a Gold Coast boy. I'm from Brisbane. Bernie right now is setting the benchmark in men's tennis. He's our No. 1 Australian player by a fair way in terms of ranking. He had a great year last year.

On the flipside, I feel I can go out there and have nothing to lose. He plays Davis Cup every tie, just about. Like I said, he's our No. 1 player.

For me on paper he should win, but tennis is a funny game. You start off at zero-all. I'm a big believer in that. On any given day, anyone can win.

I'll go out there and I'll do all the right things now and I'll look forward to it. If I am playing against Bernie or Simone Bolelli. Both great players, both very deserved players of being in a third round. It's unchartered waters for me and I'm just excited.

Q. Could you hear the cheers coming from Rod Laver and wonder?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah. They flash up the scores. Obviously I'm pretty focused on my game. But when you're just looking ahead you can kind of see the scores. Obviously I noticed that Rusty lost to Ferrer 2-4-4 maybe. I was aware of what was happening there. I think it was somewhere in our fourth or fifth set I heard the radio announcement.

I saw that Lleyton didn't quite get it done. Obviously he's set the benchmark for Australian men's tennis for a long, long, long time. I've been lucky last year that I got to know Lleyton a little bit more. I was present at two Davis Cup ties. I didn't play.

But he's someone that I think a lot of Australians can look up to. I know for myself, he's someone that's had to really fight through injuries and get through that. He's had a lot of hurdles along the way. It hasn't been smooth sailing for him. A lot of respect for him. I'm glad he's going to have a big part in men's tennis in the future.

Q. You said you're happy to be on the show courts. Especially if it's against Bernie, it will be a much bigger court. Do you look forward to that challenge?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, I mean, obviously I haven't played here in Melbourne in Rod Laver or Hisense or even Margaret Court, not the new Margaret Court.

But I feel as if I have played on some pretty big stages. I played a night match in my home city in Brisbane against Andy Murray and Roger Federer. I don't think it gets much more daunting than that. For me, the most pressure is in Brisbane because I just want to do everyone proud.

A lot of people have helped me and picked me up along the way, and I can't thank them enough. How I can thank them is put up a good performance. You don't want to get whipped in your home city against some of these really good guys.

I feel as if I've handled myself pretty well on those occasions. I'm confident that I can handle myself well on whatever court I play.

But you're right, I'll play anywhere. You know, I like playing. If there's a net and a court and a few balls, I'll play.

Q. You were talking about the difficulties a few years ago on the challenger and futures circuit. Give us insights on the tougher moments.
JOHN MILLMAN: Like I said, I want to reiterate, I'm no special case here. Like I said, the majority of tennis players are doing it like this. I really want to reiterate that, because I don't want it to be a little sob story and I'm crying out for, you know, attention or help or poor me.

Because literally the majority of tennis players do it tough. That's how the majority of tennis players live. It's not uncommon to be sleeping on airport floors. I remember I was sleeping in the Barcelona airport because I couldn't afford an airport motel that night. I'm a big Liverpool supporter, massive Liverpool supporter.

I was awoken rudely at about 2:00 am in the morning. I've got my laptop bag wrapped up around my arms and my suitcase and my tennis racquets all wrapped up because I don't want my bags go missing if I do nod off. It's cold. Manchester United had just drawn with Barcelona in maybe the quarterfinals of Champions League.

The United supporters came in after I think getting on the drink. They had flights out from Barcelona to Manchester in the early hours of the morning. They were coming in cheering. I was disappointed on two accounts. I'd finally gotten to sleep, and on the second account that they'd manage to sneak away with a draw.

There's plenty of stories like that. You know, sometimes, to be honest with you, they're the ones that are the most memorable, because you remember moments like this. You remember big matches that you play.

But actually life, scrubbing it out and meeting people you wouldn't normally meet, that's probably the best part about it.

Q. What is your relationship with Bernie like? Do you hit together? Hang out at all?
JOHN MILLMAN: I haven't hit with Bernie since probably Davis Cup. We probably play different tournaments. Maybe last year we played a few more of the similar tournaments.

To be honest with you, when I'm back home, I have no problem with Bernie. He's fine to me. He's a good bloke. But when I'm back home, I really try to keep tennis and my social life separate.

That's where I did all my schooling and all that. You know, I got great mates who have flown down here from Brisbane that come watch me. They're staying with me in the apartment.

When I'm back home, I like to do my Wednesday night trivia with them; go to the pub with them. I like to keep tennis separate. That's not to mean that I don't have respect for them or dislike anyone. Just when I'm back home, I like to really keep it separate. I find that for me, I operate a little bit better being able to separate my work and my private life.

I just feel like sometimes it can be a bit too much tennis. At the end of the day, when I'm at training or I'm on the court, I want it to be all about tennis. When I'm away from it, I don't want anything to do with it.

Q. During the waiting hours in the airports, do you read a lot of books?
JOHN MILLMAN: Read books. Game a little bit. I'm a bit of a gamer at times. I'm very bad at gaming, but I game a little bit. Watch TV series. Watch movies. Contemplate what the hell I'm doing sometimes back in the day. A lot of contemplation times. You have thoughts to yourself going, Gee whizz, what am I doing?

But, yeah, that's normal. Find ways to amuse yourself. Luckily I'm easily amused so it's easy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297