Rome, Italy, 12 May 2021 | Leigh Rogers

John Millman’s career-best European clay-court season is continuing at this week’s Italian Open.

The No.42-ranked Millman scored an opening-round win against Serbian Dusan Lajovic, defeating the world No.37 in straight sets.

Millman did not lose serve in his 6-3 6-4 win, recording victory in 85 minutes to set-up a second-round meeting with local hope and world No.9 Matteo Berrettini.

The 31-year-old Australian is enjoying consistent results on clay, advancing to at least the second round in all six of the tournaments he has contested on the surface so far this year.

Millman has now recorded seven wins in total on clay in 2021, the highest number of tour-level wins on the surface he has ever had in a single season. Impressively, three of these have been against top 40-ranked opponents.

Ajla Tomljanovic is also enjoying a run of good form, scoring her third successive win this week to defeat world No.21 Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets.

The 28-year-old Australian qualifier’s 6-4 6-2 victory is her first top-50 win since February 2020, snapping a 12-match losing streak against opponents ranked that high.

Tomljanovic, who was unbroken on serve in the 92-minute first-round match, now plays former Roland Garros champion and world No.49 Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.

Aussies in action – Rome

Men’s singles, first round
John Millman (AUS)
d Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-3 6-4

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
d Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-4 6-2

Women’s singles, second round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
[Q] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

Men’s singles, second round
John Millman (AUS) v [9] Matteo Berrettini (ITA)

Women’s doubles, second round
Ellen Perez (AUS)/Zheng Saisai (CHN) v [WC] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)/Sara Errani (ITA)

Men’s doubles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v (Alt) Liam Broady (GBR)/Andy Murray (GBR)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) v [3] Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Filip Polasek (SVK)

Men’s doubles, second round
John Peers (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) v TBC