Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs.  John Millman (AUS)
Millman pushed the defending champion to the brink of elimination and a lack of belief was his undoing. Granted, Dimitrov played some brilliant shots to save one of those match points; however, once Millman lost that set, he lost his way. Was it simply fatigue? It was probably a combination of fatigue and a lack of belief. The Australian was riding a high after winning the first set and coming close to winning the match and the adrenaline rush was not sustainable after he lost the second set in the tiebreak.
In contrast, Dimitrov found a new wave of enthusiasm once he narrowly escaped elimination and he was much more aggressive in his attack in the final set. The Bulgarian did not face a break point in the deciding set and Millman’s recent lack of consistent results on the World Tour showed in the latter stages of the match.
It’s difficult to believe in your game when you do not have the results to back you up. Despite winning a Challenger title late last season, it cannot replicate the tension of playing on the World Tour. While the crowd kept him going, ultimately it was on Millman to push aside his doubts and seize the opportunity. Unfortunately, when you let the top players off the hook, you end up paying the price and Millman found that out much to his dismay and the disappointment of the Australian crowd. Dimitrov won 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-3.
Yet the Australian crowd still has a lot to cheer for; two Australians are still in the draw: Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur. Kyrgios is in the same half of the draw as Dimitrov. If Kyrgios can get by Alexandr Dolgopolov, and Dimitrov gets by Kyle Edmund, it should make for a very interesting match.
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