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January 5, 2018

John Millman

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

G. DIMITROV/J. Millman

4-6, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you walk away from that match with? What is your prevailing emotion right now?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, mate, probably disappointment. A little déjà vu probably. I would love to win one of those really big ones.

Probably draws aren't too kind to me. I feel like I'm playing good enough tennis to go deep into this tournament. Just tough when you come up against the top seed.

Obviously, again, I think I gave it a good crack. I had a lot of belief out there. But yeah, just pulled up short again.

Q. Did you sense he was getting some momentum in that second set? Did you feel like that was the time?
JOHN MILLMAN: Look, yeah, no. I think that obviously, early in the season, you know, it's a good opportunity to get these guys.

But, yeah, like even during the whole match, yeah, he's going to have times where he plays very good tennis. That's what you expect from a guy who's No. 3 in the world and, you know, defending champion here. You're going to expect that, you know.

But even in the third set, obviously I thought his level was pretty good. But, you know, there was one break of serve there and it was a pretty tough game, really. Probably could have held.

So, you know, even throughout that whole match, it could have been a different story in all three sets, I think.

Q. Do you think you sort of reflect that you were frustrated by very good points on the two match points?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, yeah. Look, I had a look on my phone. I saw it on Twitter before scrolling through all the abuse that I got on Instagram, which is nice from all those great punters that punt on you and then troll your account. So I got called some pretty nice names there.

But after I got through all of that dross, a video of the match point came up. And, I mean, what can you do? I went for a body serve. Missed my first serve. Maybe I should have gone for an ace. Who knows? Like, hindsight is a great thing.

But, you know, I thought I was getting a few more points when I was getting into his backhand wing. I made him play five, six backhands. Then he's come in and he's played a volley that's taken out nearly both lines.

I managed to get him to play another volley, and he played another volley back the other way. Like, what else can I do on that point? You know, obviously the guys on Instagram think I could have done a bit more because, apparently, you know I got called some pretty nasty names for losing that point.

But what do you do? Like, shivers. A guy three in the world played a point that's fitting of a guy who's three in the world and great point. Too good.

Q. So that being the case, what can you do differently to win these type of matches?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, serve an ace on match point. Serve an ace on match point or -- you know, have him not clean out the lines? I don't know, mate.

You know, I gave it everything. I can be proud of giving it everything. That's tennis. You win some, you lose some.

Yeah, it would have been -- trust me, I would have loved -- like, it would have really been one of the most special nights of my career if I had won against a player like Grigor in front of my home crowd who, you know, stuck it out well past midnight to watch me play. It would have been one of the highlights of my career. That's how much I like playing here in front of the Queensland fans.

But it wasn't to be. You know, it would have been nice to meet Grigor maybe a little bit later on in the tournament.

Yeah, hindsight is a good thing. Maybe I could have done things differently. I played it accordingly how I thought I should play it, and he pulled out a great shot.

Q. You're clearly at the point in your career where you don't want to lose these anymore. You feel like you deserve to get one of these.
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, definitely. Look, I think it made it's -- if I can stay injury-free, I'm -- you know, and we've heard this before. I probably said it in 2013, and said it probably in 2015, and now I'm saying it again in 2018.

But, you know, if I can stay injury-free, I know that I can compete at a very high level. And, you know, these ATP 250's, I see no reason why I couldn't go deeper into them.

I played semis in this tournament -- not this tournament but at this level before. I've made third rounds of three out of the four Slams. You know, I think I'm capable of playing at a high level, and this is just another match to prove that.

Yeah, I mean, obviously the biggest battle for me is to stay fit and healthy, and I'm going to try to do that. And if I do that, the way I'm competing out there and the way I'm playing, I think the results will definitely come.

Q. With the timing of the Davis Cup after these Aussie tournaments, does it put more pressure on you to win these ones given there's so many guys competing for those singles spots?
JOHN MILLMAN: Not really. It's obviously a great thrill to play for your country in any form. Even when I step out on court here in Brisbane, I feel like I'm representing the Australian people.

I would love to. I would be thrilled to be named in the team. But if I'm not, then, you know, I definitely won't be bitter about it, because there's a lot of great Aussie players who are really playing some great tennis right now. And if I don't get named, I'll play in Montpellier, and I'll try to go deep in that tournament.

Q. Got anything planned for next week?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah. Look, it's a tricky one. I was meant to play quallies in Sydney. So I think I'll get to sleep about 4:00 today. And I probably need to be on a flight, you know, this afternoon now that we've ticked over to Friday. I think I'm very doubtful to play qualifying.

If I can get a run in main draw, I know there's a little wildcard. If I can get a run, I'll take it. But we'll see who gets that last wildcard.

Obviously, I feel like I'll be ready to play Sydney. If I'm in main draw, for sure 100%. But quallies, you know, after the late finish and pretty physical match, I don't think so.

Q. You mean the wildcard into Sydney?
JOHN MILLMAN: Yeah, yeah. I think they've used up two out of the three, if I'm correct. I think Alex and Jordan got two of them.

So, yeah, unless I get a run or unless I think about 10 or 15 people have to pull out between now and 4:00. I don't think that's going to happen either, and the tournament director will probably be pretty upset if that happens. But you never know with the way that withdrawals are going this year.

But, yeah, unless I'm in main draw, I'll probably skip Sydney and head straight on to Melbourne.

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