Millman to Kyrgios: let’s get physical
John Millman will attempt to extend rallies as much as possible to make it a physical first-round encounter against fellow Aussie and 14th seed Nick Kyrgios.
John Millman plans on dragging Nick Kyrgios out of his comfort zone and turning their all-Australian first-round US Open showdown into a physical battle.
The underdog believes that’s his only hope.
Kyrgios enters the final Grand Slam of the year as the 14th seed and a title smoky after his charge to a first Masters 1000 final last week in Cincinnati, leaving the 176th-ranked Millman cursing his bad luck once more.
In his three previous major tournaments, Millman has drawn two-time champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, seeded claycourt specialist Roberto Bautista-Agut in Paris and rising Austrian Dominic Thiem at Flushing Meadows last year.
And now Kyrgios first-up in New York.
“It’s well documented that Nick’s got a massive game and his record speaks for itself in terms of the guys he’s beaten, so it’s another rough draw,” Millman told AAP.
“It’s been a bit of a tradition for me in the slams for the last little bit. But that’s alright. It’s all part of it and I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”
Kyrgios has nursed a hip problem since last year’s US Open, with the injury forcing his mid-tournament withdrawal in both New York and London.
Millman suspects Kyrgios’s vulnerable body may offer his only realistic chance of springing a boilover.
“I’ve got to keep to my strengths out there,” he said.
“Nick will probably want to finish the rallies with his big game sooner rather than later and I’ll probably want to extend the rallies and make it as physical as possible.
“I definitely will have to play some of my best tennis.”
“We all know if Nick rocks up and he’s fully fit and ready to go physically and mentally, sometimes it’s an exhibition out there. It makes the game look very easy.
“But I hope that he’s fit and I hope that he’s ready to go and that we can play a good match because you don’t want to play someone when they’re unfit. You want to play them when they’re fired up and playing good tennis.
“That will bring the best out of myself too.”
Like Kyrgios, teenage wildcard Alex De Minaur – up against sixth-seeded Thiem – doesn’t start his tournament until Tuesday.
Bernard Tomic, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson and qualifier John-Patrick Smith all play on Monday.
Tomic, who has slipped to world No.146, opens against 19th seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
Thompson also faces a tough time against American 13th seed Jack Sock, while Kokkinakis meets Serb Janko Tipsarevic.
Smith takes on Italian Thomas Fabbiano.