Melbourne, Australia, 18 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

John Millman’s professional playing career is not over quite yet.

The retiring 34-year-old came close to bowing out in the opening round of the Australian Open 2024 men’s doubles competition today, but in trademark fashion, dug deep to score a steely victory alongside South Australian teen Edward Winter.

While Millman is contesting the final Grand Slam tournament of his storied career, this is 19-year-old Winter’s first Grand Slam main-draw appearance.

Despite their vast differences in age and experience, the Aussie wildcards combined brilliantly to bravely save two match points before triumphing 6-7(3) 6-2 7-6(12) against New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Brazil’s Marcelo Demoliner.

> READ: Emotional Millman’s singles career comes to an end at Australian Open 2024

This sets up a second-round clash with world No.4 Matt Ebden and his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna.

The second seeds survived a massive challenge from Australian wildcards James Duckworth and Marc Polmans in the opening round.

After falling behind 0-5 in the opening set, Ebden and Bopanna recovered to score a hard-fought 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(2) win.

Another pair of Aussie wildcards, Adam Walton and Tristan Schoolkate, lost a heartbreaking battle after holding a match point.

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral and Brit Henry Patten managed to edge out a 6-3 6-7(6) 7-6(4) victory in their two-hour and 43-minute encounter.

Aussies in action – Australian Open

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) d [WC] James Duckworth (AUS)/Marc Polmans (AUS) 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(2)
[WC] John Millman (AUS)/Edward Winter (AUS)
 d Marcus Daniell (NZL)/Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) 6-7(3) 6-2 7-6(12)
John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) d [WC] Alex Bolt (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) 6-3 7-6(4)
Francisco Cabral (POR)/Henry Patten (GBR) d [WC] Tristan Schoolkate (AUS)/Adam Walton (AUS) 6-3 6-7(6) 7-6(4)
Andre Goransson (SWE)/Albano Olivetti (FRA) d [WC] Blake Ellis (AUS)/Andrew Harris (AUS) 6-1 7-5

Women’s doubles, first round
Wu Fang-Hsien (TPE)/Zhu Lin (CHN) d [7] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) 3-6 6-3 7-6(5)

Men’s doubles, first round
[16] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) 
Chris O’Connell (AUS)/Laslo Djere (SRB)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) 
v Alexander Erler (AUT)/Lucas Miedler (AUT)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
 v John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER)

Men’s doubles, second round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v [WC] John Millman (AUS)/Edward Winter (AUS)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)/Nuno Borges (POR) v [6] Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)/Andreas Molteni (ARG)
John Peers (AUS)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN) v [14] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Nikola Mektic (CRO)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2024 men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, second round
[3] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE) v [WC] Destanee Aiava (AUS)/Maddison Inglis (AUS)
[WC] Daria Saville (AUS)/Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [2] Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE)/Elise Mertens (BEL)
[WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Olivia Gadecki (AUS)
 v [11] Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
[WC] Taylah Preston (AUS)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Ekaterina Alexandrova/Anna Kalinskaya

> VIEW: Australian Open 2024 women’s doubles draw

> READ: Seventeen Aussies to contest mixed doubles at Australian Open 2024

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