Millman through to US Open fourth round
John Millman beats Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open.
John Millman achieved a career milestone by beating Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday.
The 29-year-old unseeded Australian saw off Kukushkin 6-4 4-6 6-1 6-3 to make to the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time.
There he will face No.2 seed and five-times champion Roger Federer, a straight-sets winner over Nick Kyrgios.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Millman. “I’m extremely excited. It was a goal of mine to make second week of a Grand Slam. I have managed to do so.
“Really looking forward to what lies next, and hopefully it’s good things.”
Millman broke the Kukushkin serve nine times over the course of two hours and 48 minutes on the Grandstand court, and proved the stronger player in the closing stages as he lost just four games across the third and fourth sets.
He reeled off six straight games to win the third and came through a more closely fought fourth to avoid the need for a deciding set.
“It was quite a physical match, and the conditions were quite nice out there, luckily, because at the start of the week they were quite brutal,” said the Queenslander.
“But I was getting a little bit tired, so I don’t think I wanted it to go to five. It was more about trying to get off the court than anything else.”
Millman, ranked No.55, is through to the fourth round at a major for the first time, and enjoying the best year of his career.
“I think it has to do with just having an extended period of being healthy,” he said.
“I have had three surgeries and another couple of injuries throughout my career. Last year I had groin surgery where I was out for another seven, seven-and-a-half months. That’s been tricky. That’s been really challenging.”
The prize for finally reaching week two of a Grand Slam is a meeting with 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer, potentially on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I think he’s the best that’s played the game, in my opinion,” added Millman. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Roger. I’ve got a lot of respect for his team.”