Millman motors past Next Gen star Coric
Local wildcards Jason Kubler and Alex Bolt both come up just short in their quests for maiden major victories.
John Millman has upset the odds to give local fans another player to cheer for in the second round of the Australian Open.
Millman, the world No.122, defeated Croatian Borna Coric 7-5 6-4 6-1 in two hours and 19 minutes on Monday – joining compatriots Nick Kyrgios, Matthew Ebden and Olivia Rogowska as day-one winners.
Coric, 21, is seen as a dominant player of the future, having finished in the year-end top 50 for three straight seasons.
But the 28-year-old Queenslander showed him up on show court three, racing through the final set in half an hour to return to the second round as he did in 2016.
Local wildcards Jason Kubler and Alex Bolt both come up just short in their quests for maiden major victories at the Australian Open.
Eight long years after his last main-draw appearance at Melbourne Park, Kubler went down to Spanish 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who had enjoyed a breakthrough 2017 campaign.
The match was evenly poised when rain halted play early for 20 minutes early in the third set.
US Open semi-finalist Carreno Busta claimed a tight third set and then powered away to win 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-1 in three hours and 31 minutes.
World No.243 Kubler dropped all four of his service games in the final set against Carreno Busta.
Kubler’s only previous outing at his home major came as a 16-year-old wildcard in 2010, when he was ousted in the opening round by Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, now coaching Roger Federer.
In the intervening years, Kubler – a former junior world No.1 ranked junior – suffered a string of serious knee injuries.
Bolt, 25, went even closer to a breakthrough triumph at grand slam level on Monday.
He grabbed a two-set lead against Serbian Viktor Troicki before fading to lose 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.
Troicki, 31, reached a career-high ranking of 12 back in 2011 and will play Australian No.1 Kyrgios in the second round.