Millman’s bold plea: ‘Send Roger to Court 3’

John Millman hopes lightning can strike twice.

The "typical Aussie bloke" will aim to again slay the giant that is Swiss master Roger Federer on Friday in a match that is expected to earn blockbuster billing on Rod Laver Arena.

Last time the pair met in a grand slam - at the 2018 US Open - Millman did the almost unthinkable and toppled the 20-time slam winner in four sets.

And while the man himself concedes he will definitely be the underdog, he will be doing everything he can to get the job done again.

 

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"It was an awesome experience, but I do know that that doesn't count for anything now," Millman said.

"It's probably the toughest test in tennis. A lot of people think he's one of, if not the, greatest ever.

"I'm going to have to do everything right in terms of my preparation and improve on my performances, no doubt.

"At least I know a little bit of what to expect.

"The good news is you start off at 0-0 and what you can expect from me ...is that I'll go out there and give it a crack. Regardless of the score, I'll go out there and leave it all out there.

"If lightning strikes twice, I wouldn't say no to it."

John Millman is through to the third round of the Australian Open after a straight sets win. Picture: AAP Images
John Millman is through to the third round of the Australian Open after a straight sets win. Picture: AAP Images

Millman said if anything had changed since that fateful day at Flushing Meadows, it was how much he now "had to talk about" Federer.

He described the former world No. 1 and player arguably dubbed the GOAT as a "class act" and said his 2018 victory over him would be one of his most treasured career memories.

"The way I see it is, you take a few snapshots, you have a few of those memorable moments that hopefully when you finish playing tennis you can think back and think 'that was pretty cool'," he said.

"That was one of those moments. That was one of those really special nights at Arthur Ashe, packed crowd there.

"I played some really, really great tennis. He probably didn't play his best tennis. I managed to do something that not many people thought I could do."

He joked that he would put forward a case to play the match on a court other than the "little corporate Rod Laver", "to throw a spanner in the works for Roger".

"I don't think Craig (Tiley) will take me too serious," he laughed.

 

Roger Federer was at his brilliant best on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP Images
Roger Federer was at his brilliant best on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP Images

 

"More so just to throw a spanner in the works for Roger. I don't know if he knows the other courts. He hits on the outside ones, but he hasn't played too many. I don't know if he would have played too many matches on the outside ones.

"Look, I love a vocal crowd. Obviously the matches I played, probably two really special courts, Show Court 3 and Melbourne Arena, are notorious for the crowd support you get there, the vocal Aussies.

"I very much consider myself, and I think the people who know me, know that I'm just your typical Aussie bloke. So I'm one of the people. The people get the ground passes and the people go to those courts.

"Look, I know it's a little corporate at Rod Laver, but it's still a pretty cool court to play on."

Federer spoke glowingly about Millman following his own three-set victory over Filip Krajinovic, describing the Queenslander as "a great guy".

 

"I practised a lot with him. I almost passed out when I played out against him in New York. It was so hot," Federer said.

"He had no problem. He is from Queensland, so he was like normal stuff. He never came to check on me if I passed out, actually, after the match. I didn't. I'm here.

"He's a super good guy, unbelievably tough opponent. There's not many guys fitter than him out there. And those are the guys I respect the most, actually, because he gets the most out of the game and I hope it will be a great match with great rallies and I hope you guys enjoy it."

Meanwhile, local wildcard Marc Polmans fell in straight sets to Serb Dusan Lajovic after a physically-draining first-round five-set win, disappointed but pleased to walk away with a fiscal boost, at least.

The Australian pocketed a cool $128,000 for the second-round loss and said he would use some of the money to invest in a regular fitness coach.

"I won't blow it all, but I'm happy I've got a bit of money to invest in myself," Polmans said.

Polmans ditched his signature legionnaire's hat for the loss because of the overcast conditions.

But the 22-year-old said he might have to keep the hat - which has become a big hit on social media - on permanently in future.

"I was thinking about wearing it but the sun wasn't out," Polmans said.

"Maybe that was one of the reasons why I couldn't quite get it done. Next time."



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