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Emotional Millman’s singles career comes to an end at Australian Open 2024 | 11 January, 2024 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Emotional Millman’s singles career comes to an end at Australian Open 2024 | 11 January, 2024 | All News | News and Features | News and Events

Melbourne, Australia, 11 January 2024 | Dan Imhoff

John Millman does not consider himself an overly emotional type.

While renowned for his stoicism on court and a tendency to pile positivity on those around him, a moment of tribulation just before Christmas a decade ago proved the exception.

It was ultimately a pivotal point in a career that spanned more than 15 years.

Millman’s most famous triumph over Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows, his near-upset of the 20-time major champion at Rod Laver Arena 16 months later and that sole tour singles trophy in the midst of the pandemic would have never happened.

On Thursday, the curtain fell on the 34-year-old’s playing days on Court 3 at Melbourne Park when he bowed out to world No.118 Alex Molcan in the second round of the men’s qualifying singles competition at Australian Open 2024.

> READ: Millman announces retirement

A stalwart of Australian tennis widely revered for maximising every skerrick of his ability and for having doggedly picked himself back up off the canvas after each injury setback, Millman’s tennis journey was certainly altogether different had he not reached a low point and broken down to his mum, Shona, at home in Brisbane in December 2013.

“After my second shoulder surgery I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to play tennis again,” Millman said. “I was trying a bit of work in the city, not to do with tennis … I was probably four, five months post-surgery and we had a Christmas work party actually and it just hit me that I was pretty sad, pretty upset with things.

“I thought that I had more potential to give and I thought I could go a little bit more, but there were a lot of doubts. It was that night I spoke to Mum. I’m not an emotional guy, I got emotional that night.”

Millman decided he had to give it one more shot so as not to be racked with regret.

Having thrown himself into the necessary rehabilitation he was again free of pain, but trust in his body was only half the battle.

It all hinged on one trip to California where he had entered three events. He was down to his last $6000.

“If I had no results, that was it. I had no more money left,” Millman said. “I won back-to-back Challengers and within nine to 10 months of that moment, coming from no ranking, I was top 100 at Wimbledon the next year.”

The widely popular Queenslander eventually climbed as high as world No.33 in 2018, soon after his victory over then No.2 and reigning…

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