New York, USA, 25 August 2020 |

John Millman’s return to the ATP Tour has ended with a three-set loss to American John Isner at the Western & Southern Open.

The world No.21-ranked Isner won 4-6 7-6(3) 7-6(5) in a two-hour, 47-minute battle.

Millman did not drop serve throughout the second-round match, but had to face a barrage of 35 aces from his opponent.

“I generally don’t love playing that style of player. I’m the type of player who likes to sink my teeth into a match and against someone like a Johnny Isner, I feel like you don’t get much of a rhythm,” Millman admitted.

The No.43-ranked Australian led 4-2 in the deciding tiebreak but was unable to score a first career win against Isner.

Having last played in a Davis Cup tie in early March, Millman admitted his comeback tournament had been challenging.

“It’s not easy, I tell you what,” he said. “I haven’t really had many matches – well none really, I played a couple of practice sets. I hit a fair few balls in this COVID period, but hadn’t really had exposure to those high-level matches, and just before coming I did something to my shoulder.

“When I got here (to New York) I thought I was going to be doing a lot more preparation, but I actually had to take a few days off and the physios have been working overtime.”

Millman described having the opportunity to compete again as a ‘relief’.

“It was a race against time, so I was lucky I got to play,” Millman said of his injury setback.

“All in all, really happy.”

In doubles action, Alex de Minaur and Spanish partner Pablo Carreno Busta advanced to the quarterfinals. The duo scored a 7-6(6) 7-5 victory against Isner and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.