Atlanta, USA, 26 July 2022 | Leigh Rogers

John Millman has made a winning start to his Atlanta Open campaign, overcoming Aussie compatriot Alexei Popyrin in a three-set battle.

The 33-year-old Millman posted a 7-6(1) 4-6 6-3 victory in their opening-round clash at the ATP 250 hard-court tournament. It is the world No.81’s fifth consecutive win against 22-year-old Popyrin.

Millman now faces eighth-seeded American and 2021 finalist Brandon Nakashima in the second round.

World No.56 Nakashima eliminated Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a three-set opening-round encounter earlier today, prevailing 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes.

It is the second year in a row that world No.56 Nakashima has defeated Thompson in Atlanta, having also faced off in last year’s quarterfinals.

The early exit is bad news for world No.95 Thompson’s ranking, with the 28-year-old now set to tumble outside the world’s top 100 for the first time since October 2018.

Aussie duo Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios reunited on the doubles court for the first time since making a semifinal run at Miami in March. The No.2 seeds and reigning Australian Open champions fired 20 aces in a 7-6(8) 6-3 win over experienced French combination Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Aussies in action – Atlanta

Men’s singles, first round
John Millman (AUS) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-6(1) 4-6 6-3
[8] Brandon Nakashima (USA) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d Nicolas Mahut (FRA)/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 7-6(8) 6-3

Men’s singles, first round
[7] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [Q] Peter Gojowczyk (GER)
James Duckworth (AUS)
v [Q] Dominik Koepfer (GER)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [WC] Andres Martin (USA)

Men’s singles, second round
[3] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v TBC
John Millman (AUS) v [8] Brandon Nakashima (USA)

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] Matthew Ebden (AUS)/Max Purcell (AUS)
v Alexei Popyrin (AUS)/Frances Tiafoe (USA)
Jason Kubler (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) v [WC] Andrei Duarte (COL)/Alvaro Regalado Pedrol (ESP)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v Steve Johnson (USA)/Tommy Paul (USA)

Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
[2] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v TBC

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