Newks18: Millman produces career-best season
John Millman's Grand Slam breakthrough in his 13th professional season was a highlight in a banner year that saw him nominated for the Newcombe Medal.
The 29-year-old from Brisbane has been nominated for the Newcombe Medal for the second time, and first since 2016.
34-23 (19-19 at tour level)
d. #2 Federer – US Open 4R
d. #14 Fognini – US Open 2R
d. #14 Pouille – Budapest 2R
+94 (2018 year-end ranking of No.34, after finishing 2017 at No.128)
Quarterfinalist US Open
An incredible fourth-round victory over world No.2 Roger Federer at Arthur Ashe Stadium catapulted the Queenslander into his first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal, where he gave Novak Djokovic a tough battle under lights before eventually bowing out.
|Challenger||Won Aix-en-Provence, Kyoto|
Rebounding from yet another injury-plagued season in 2017, Millman vaulted from outside the top 100 to a career-high ranking of No.33 in October. It was a rise significantly assisted by his Grand Slam breakthrough in New York, but he was consistent elsewhere on both the ATP and Challenger tours, across all surfaces, to steadily climb the rankings. The Queenslander reached his first ATP final on clay in Budapest then claimed the Aix-en-Provence clay-court Challenger title. When the tour moved to grass, he qualified for Queen’s then won through to the quarters in Eastbourne. But it was on US hard courts where he made the biggest impression, following up his impressive four-set win over Fabio Fognini at Flushing Meadows with a fourth-round upset of the great Roger Federer, a performance that became one of the sporting stories of the year in Australia. His most successful professional season came amid more injury issues – back problems forced him out of Rotterdam, Houston, Lyon, Cincinnati and Paris while a muscle tear saw him skip Chengdu and Tokyo.
“It’s special, isn’t it? I was saying to some of the boys on my team a couple weeks ago that it was dire straits for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve a bit at times. I pulled out of Cincinnati. Winston-Salem I was just kind of finding my feet, copping the abuse from a lot of punters. I felt pretty underprepared coming in this week (to the US Open), and I don’t really like that. But I’ll take a lot from it. I do feel as if I can compete at a high level. I have always had that belief. It’s just sometimes my body, you know, hasn’t been co-operating. But it’s been an unbelievable moment and I just hopefully can take a few snapshots in mind and use that moving forward.”