Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 22 September 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

Australian John Millman has survived a test in the opening round of an ATP 250 tournament in Nur-Sultan.

The defending champion overcame Kazakhstan qualifier Dmitry Popko 3-6 6-1 6-4 in a two-hour battle.

“I am hoping I can build on that match,” Millman said. “It was a little bit scrappy from my end. Credit to my opponent, he came out having played a couple of matches in those conditions and was probably a little bit better from the start. Once I found my feet, I felt a little bit more comfortable.”

Millman recovered from an 0-2 deficit in the final set, then saved two break points in the ninth game to edge ahead 5-4. From there, the 32-year-old’s experience proved telling as he broke the world No.188 to love in the 10th game to seal the win.

In other matches, Italian Lorenzo Musetti snapped the winning run of Australian qualifier Marc Polmans. The world No.57 also had to fight hard to claim his 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory.

“He was really solid and he was not missing a ball, so it was not easy,” Musetti said of his 24-year-old Australian opponent.

While James Duckworth and Matthew Ebden were eliminated in the opening round of the doubles competition.

Aussies in action – Nur-Sultan

Men’s singles, first round
[5] John Millman (AUS) d [Q] Dmitry Popko (KAZ) 3-6 6-1 6-4
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) d [Q] Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-4 2-6 6-4

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Andrey Golubev (KAZ)/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) d James Duckworth (AUS)/Matthew Ebden (AUS) 7-6(7) 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
James Duckworth (AUS) v [WC] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)

Men’s singles, second round
[5] John Millman (AUS) v Jaume Munar (ESP)

Men’s doubles, first round
Marc Polmans (AUS)
/Jaume Munar (ESP) v [WC] Alexander Bublik (KAZ)/Daniil Golubev (RUS)

Metz, France

Alex de Minaur has lost his opening-round doubles match at an ATP 250 tournament in Metz.

French wildcards Gregoire Barrere and Lucas Pouille scored a three-set victory against the 22-year-old Australian and his Spanish partner David Vega Hernandez.

De Minaur now turns his attention to the singles competition, where he is set to play American Marcos Giron in the second round.

Aussies in action – Metz

Men’s doubles, first round
[WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA)/Lucas Pouille (FRA) d Alex de Minaur (AUS)/David Vega Hernandez (ESP) 6-3 3-6 [10-5]

Men’s singles, second round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Marcos Giron (USA)

Men’s doubles, first round
Matt Reid (AUS)
/Ken Skupski (GBR) v [1] Henri Kontinen (FIN)/Ben McLachlan (JPN)

Ostrava, Czech Republic

Australian Astra Sharma and Dutch partner Rosalie Van Der Hoek have progressed to the quarterfinals at a WTA 500 tournament in Ostrava.

The duo scored a 7-5 7-5 victory against Russian Alena Fomina and Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa.

It is a fifth tour-level doubles quarterfinal of the season for world No.119 Sharma, who reached the Hamburg final alongside 26-year-old Van Der Hoek in July.

Aussies in action – Ostrava

Women’s doubles, first round
Astra Sharma (AUS)/Rosalie Van Der Hoek (NED) d Alena Fomina (RUS)/Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 7-5 7-5

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Astra Sharma (AUS)/Rosalie Van Der Hoek (NED) v TBC