Millman too strong for Tomic in Challenger final
In an all-Australian final at the ATP Challenger in Aix-en-Provence, France, John Millman allowed Bernard Tomic just three games in a commanding triumph.
John Millman has earned himself a career-high ranking with a crushing victory over Bernard Tomic in the all-Australian final of the Open du Pays d’Aix Challenger event in Provence.
Top-seeded Millman will climb 12 spots to world No.58 after downing Tomic 6-1 6-2 to claim the $200,000 clay-court title in the south of France.
Rain delayed the final and forced the match indoors to a hard court, but Millman made up for lost time by sweeping aside his fellow Queenslander in just 48 minutes.
“That doesn’t normally happen but, due to the weather, they had to,” Millman told AAP after crunching nine aces and breaking Tomic’s serve four times.
“Obviously it was important to get a good start due to the change of conditions. It was important to serve well indoors and back myself from the back of the court.”
A finalist at last month’s Hungarian Open, Millman’s success continues his impressive form ahead of the French Open starting in two weeks.
“Very happy with the preparations for Roland Garros,” Millman said.
“I wanted to come to Europe early to give myself the best chance going into the tournament and I’m really happy with how I’m playing.”
The 29-year-old will continue his build-up this week as top seed at another Challenger event in Heilbronn, Germany.
“Even though it’s not easy to get to,” Millman said.
“There are strikes with the trains in France and flights are a nightmare so we are driving nine hours tomorrow.”
Millman’s victory was also his first over Tomic, who had to settle for a rankings leap of 52 places back to the world’s top 200 after winning four consecutive clay-court matches for the first time to reach the final.
Tomic had been winless since Australian Open qualifying in January and had to survive multiple match points and battle back from 5-2 down in the deciding set of his tournament opener against 2016 French Open junior champion Geoffrey Blancaneaux.
The 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinalist will head to Paris for French Open qualifying next week with renewed confidence on his least preferred surface.
“For me, it was a good week,” Tomic said.
“First round I should have lost, but I gave myself a chance and I played maybe my best clay-court tournament so, for me, it was really solid.
“I play Roland Garros. My focus is there, so I’ll try my best to be ready.”