Millman tries to serve up an upset but Seppi dodges 200km/h bullets

Fought hard … John Millman, playing an overhead shot at Sydney Olympic Park on Wednesday, took a set off world no.23 Andrea Seppi but went down to the Italian.JOHN MILLMAN launched a brave second-set fightback to rattle seeded Italian Andrea Seppi in the Sydney International but fell short of clinching a comeback as he went down in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Through his powerful serve of 192km/h and his strong double backhand, Millman tried to peg Seppi to the baseline and limit his influence closer to the net. The Australian found early success with this plan and comfortably won the first game.

The world No.23 responded quickly to exert his dominance by forcing Millman into the pockets of the court and limiting his strength off the backhand. As Seppi found his rhythm early in the first set, Millman failed to match the Italian’s finesse and movement across the court and trailed 5-1. A late fightback clinched one game but Seppi comfortably won the first set.

Millman emerged the more lively from the break and won the first game of the second set as Seppi struggled to break his serve. With his serve flirting with the 200km/h mark, his confidence grew and the 23-year-old Australian stormed to a commanding lead by restricting his opponent to the baseline. Millman won the last three games to square the ledger.

In the deciding set, the Italian unravelled the hard-hitting local with a composed and precise game. Seppi constantly forced his opponent away from the centre of the court. Millman fought back midway through the set but ran out of steam as Seppi reached the quarter-finals.

”I think the big thing that come out is my confidence, that I can compete at this level. I think that’s a massive thing for me. You know, getting exposure against these guys and knowing in myself that the hard work is paying off and that I can compete against these guys,” Millman said.

”I’m looking forward to the challenges that await me and the challenges that are in front of me to reach my goal of competing at this level week in, week out.”

Agnieszka Radwanska reaffirmed her No.1 seeding to move through to the semi-finals and men’s top seed John Isner crashed out to fellow American Ryan Harrison. The 6-4, 6-4 win by Harrison set up a semi-final showdown with Julien Benneteau, who progressed through to the next round after Radek Stepanek retired with a back injury.

Radwanska had to work hard for her 6-4, 7-5 win against Italy’s Roberta Vinci but did enough to move to the semi-finals.

Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen would have been expecting a tough challenge as he continued his title defence. However his opponent, world No.16 Gilles Simon, was forced to pull out of the tournament with a neck injury. That gave world No.416 Ivo Klec the chance to pull off the upset of the event against Nieminen. While Klec started well, he was never in the contest, with Nieminen cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 win.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson set up a third-round clash with Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin after a straight sets win over Feliciano Lopez. Istomin outplayed No.4 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 on show court one.

Verdasco’s fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers reached the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Fabio Fognini.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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