Infotainment Factory: Bautista Agut survives epic Millman comeback

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Bautista Agut survives epic Millman comeback


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Aussie hero John Millman is out of the Australian Open after falling just short of pulling off a dramatic comeback in a five-set epic against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

Millman became a cult hero when he knocked Roger Federer out of last year’s US Open on the way to an incredible quarter final appearance and at one stage he looked like adding another extraordinary chapter to his grand slam career.

But after winning the third and fourth sets to force an unlikely decider, Millman ran out of steam in the fifth, falling 6-3 6-1 3-6 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 in a match that thrilled a packed Melbourne Arena.

The gravity of Millman’s effort to claw his way back from the brink after being thumped in the first two sets wasn’t lost on his opponent.

In his on-court interview Bautista Agut revealed what was going through his head after an astonishing meltdown in the fourth-set tiebreak, when he blew several match points.

"I thought if I wanted to win the fifth set, I had to keep concentrating and play it point by point," Bautista Agut said.

"Johnny is a real fighter, he played a good match.

"The fifth set was really tough because I wanted to go to the locker room."

Millman began the match looking good before giving up a break which Bautista Agut took full advantage of.

The Spaniard slammed seven first-set winners to his opponent's three as Millman struggled with his first serve and took out the first set 6-3.

If the first set was dominant, Bautista Agut added to Millman's misery in the second set as the Australian began looked extremely frustrated.

Millman's first serve struggles continued in the second set as Bautista Agut ramped up his effiency to a ruthless level, winning 77 percent of the points on the Australian's first serve.

With Bautista Agut looking razor sharp in the second set, winning 89 percent of the points on his first serve, the vociferous 'fanatics' in attendance to support Millman were unable to get into the contest and the Spaniard took out the second set 6-1.

However, in characteristic Millman fashion, just as he looked dead and buried, the Australian roared to life.

The Australian buried three aces in the third set as he ramped up his first serve percentage, allowing him to get into points and importantly allowing the crowd to get into the contest.

Bautista Agut must have been getting flashbacks of his gruelling first-round encounter with Andy Murray as the Australian began to roar after every single point.

Millman looked to gain energy with every passing point as he slammed 13 winners en-route to a 6-3 win win in the third set.

The momentum now clearly with him, Millman continued his resurgence into the fourth set.

With the match turning into an all-out war of attrition, both men appeared unwilling to give an inch in a terrific opening to the set.

However, Millman refused to budge in a crucial Bautista Agut service game with the score tied at three games apiece, forcing the Spaniard into an uncharacteristic error to give himself the ascendancy.

Bautista Agut is known on the circuit for being one of the toughest players and he showcased it in a crucial game with Millman up 5-4 and serving to tie up the match.

It took a brutal six break points for the Spaniard to eventually break back and tie the set up at five games apiece.

After Bautista Agut closed his own service game, suddenly Millman was serving for his Australian Open life and he used a pair of aces to take the set to a tiebreaker.

Millman's renowned never-say-die attitude was on full show during the tiebreaker.

Bautista Agut was on the brink of a victory after taking a 6-2 lead in the tiebreaker before the Australian pulled off a Houdini act for the ages.

Millman systematically picked off all four of the Spaniard's four match points, before showing nerves of steel when serving for his Australian Open life to take it to a deciding fifth set.

Bautista Agut advances to the third round to face Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.

You could have blamed Bautista Agut for being fatigued after the Murray five-setter, but the Spanish warrior showed his mettle by breaking Millman early into the deciding set to take a decisive 3-2 lead.

After taking the early lead, the Spaniard showed nerves of steel to close out the Australian to advance to the third round.

Bautista Agut now advances to the third round to face Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.

More to come

Aussie hero John Millman is out of the Australian Open after falling just short of pulling off a dramatic comeback in a five-set epic against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

Millman became a cult hero when he knocked Roger Federer out of last year’s US Open on the way to an incredible quarter final appearance and at one stage he looked like adding another extraordinary chapter to his grand slam career.

But after winning the third and fourth sets to force an unlikely decider, Millman ran out of steam in the fifth, falling 6-3 6-1 3-6 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 in a match that thrilled a packed Melbourne Arena.

The gravity of Millman’s effort to claw his way back from the brink after being thumped in the first two sets wasn’t lost on his opponent.

In his on-court interview Bautista Agut revealed what was going through his head after an astonishing meltdown in the fourth-set tiebreak, when he blew several match points.

"I thought if I wanted to win the fifth set, I had to keep concentrating and play it point by point," Bautista Agut said.

"Johnny is a real fighter, he played a good match.

"The fifth set was really tough because I wanted to go to the locker room."

Millman began the match looking good before giving up a break which Bautista Agut took full advantage of.

The Spaniard slammed seven first-set winners to his opponent's three as Millman struggled with his first serve and took out the first set 6-3.

If the first set was dominant, Bautista Agut added to Millman's misery in the second set as the Australian began looked extremely frustrated.

Millman's first serve struggles continued in the second set as Bautista Agut ramped up his effiency to a ruthless level, winning 77 percent of the points on the Australian's first serve.

With Bautista Agut looking razor sharp in the second set, winning 89 percent of the points on his first serve, the vociferous 'fanatics' in attendance to support Millman were unable to get into the contest and the Spaniard took out the second set 6-1.

However, in characteristic Millman fashion, just as he looked dead and buried, the Australian roared to life.

The Australian buried three aces in the third set as he ramped up his first serve percentage, allowing him to get into points and importantly allowing the crowd to get into the contest.

Bautista Agut must have been getting flashbacks of his gruelling first-round encounter with Andy Murray as the Australian began to roar after every single point.

Millman looked to gain energy with every passing point as he slammed 13 winners en-route to a 6-3 win win in the third set.

The momentum now clearly with him, Millman continued his resurgence into the fourth set.

With the match turning into an all-out war of attrition, both men appeared unwilling to give an inch in a terrific opening to the set.

However, Millman refused to budge in a crucial Bautista Agut service game with the score tied at three games apiece, forcing the Spaniard into an uncharacteristic error to give himself the ascendancy.

Bautista Agut is known on the circuit for being one of the toughest players and he showcased it in a crucial game with Millman up 5-4 and serving to tie up the match.

It took a brutal six break points for the Spaniard to eventually break back and tie the set up at five games apiece.

After Bautista Agut closed his own service game, suddenly Millman was serving for his Australian Open life and he used a pair of aces to take the set to a tiebreaker.

Millman's renowned never-say-die attitude was on full show during the tiebreaker.

Bautista Agut was on the brink of a victory after taking a 6-2 lead in the tiebreaker before the Australian pulled off a Houdini act for the ages.

Millman systematically picked off all four of the Spaniard's four match points, before showing nerves of steel when serving for his Australian Open life to take it to a deciding fifth set.

Bautista Agut advances to the third round to face Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.

You could have blamed Bautista Agut for being fatigued after the Murray five-setter, but the Spanish warrior showed his mettle by breaking Millman early into the deciding set to take a decisive 3-2 lead.

After taking the early lead, the Spaniard showed nerves of steel to close out the Australian to advance to the third round.

Bautista Agut now advances to the third round to face Russian 10th seed Karen Khachanov.

More to come

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