OUTPLAYED: Australia's John Millman couldn't get close to a fired-up Rafael Nadal in their first round match at Wimbledon.
OUTPLAYED: Australia's John Millman couldn't get close to a fired-up Rafael Nadal in their first round match at Wimbledon. FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Millman trounced by 'relentless new animal'

JOHN Millman described his 6-1 6-3 6-2 crushing from merciless Rafael Nadal as relentless abuse.

"He's good, he has the ability to shrink the court with everything," Millman said after the trouncing.

"When you're serving, you have to hit the tiniest spot. Off the ground, you have to hit the tiniest spot - relentless abuse."

Pre-tournament, Millman predicted Nadal would push for overall honours and a 16th major.

After a first-hand encounter with the king of clay, Millman has no doubt Nadal can annex a third Wimbledon crown.

"He seems to be pretty energised and reinvigorated," Millman said.

"He seems to be really determined and you kind of felt that out there.

"I was kind of hoping he would be slightly off his game and give me a few looks.

"For me, how it matched up, Rafa is a whole new animal.

"There was absolutely nothing wrong with me out there. I just got beaten by a better player."

When Nadal greeted Millman at the net, the Spaniard congratulated the Australian on his effort to return to the fray after another long injury lay-off.

"Rafa is a gentlemen of the game," Millman said.

"He said it was great that I was back competing, back in the game.

"He's a class act."

Andrew Whittington is determined that a maiden Wimbledon appearance won't be a one-off.

The Victorian saved five match points before Brazilian Thiago Monteiro snuffed out his challenge 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).

In a match interrupted by rain, Whittington hit 15 aces and 44 winners but couldn't hold on to a promising 4-2 fourth-set lead.

"I am shattered to lose that. I really wanted to keep the dream alive and feel like I missed a great chance," Whittington said.

"I guess my run had to come to an end today. I got out of trouble three times in qualifiers, and tried my best again but it wasn't meant to be.

"It's been something that I needed, keeping the confidence up and hopefully I can keep winning and get back here again next year.

"I'll play in the doubles here, then head over to the States to play a grass comp at Newport and then try and qualify again for the US Open."

News Corp Australia


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